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Isolated folliculitis.jpg
Folliculitis, single lesion
Classification and external resources
Specialty Dermatology
ICD-10 L73.9 (ILDS L73.91)
ICD-9-CM 704.8
DiseasesDB 31367
MedlinePlus 000823
eMedicine derm/159
Patient UK Folliculitis
MeSH D005499

Folliculitis is the infection and inflammation of one or more hair follicles. The condition may occur anywhere on the skin with the exception of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The rash may appear as pimples that come to white tips on the face, chest, back, arms, legs, and head.

Signs and symptoms[edit]

  • rash (reddened skin area)
  • itching skin
  • pimples or pustules located around a hair follicle
  • spreading from leg to arm to body through improper treatment of antibiotics


Most carbuncles, boils, and other cases of folliculitis develop from Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Folliculitis starts with the introduction of a skin pathogen to a hair follicle. Hair follicles can also be damaged by friction from clothing, an insect bite,[1] blockage of the follicle, shaving, or braids too tight and too close to the scalp. The damaged follicles are then infected with the bacterium Staphylococcus. Folliculitis usually affects those in their early adult life, and may persist till their early 30s. Warmer weather may worsen the condition.

Iron deficiency anemia is sometimes associated with chronic cases.





  • Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a disorder occurring when hair curves back into the skin and causes inflammation.
  • Eosinophilic folliculitis may appear in persons with impaired immune systems.
  • Folliculitis decalvans or tufted folliculitis usually affects scalp. Several hairs arise from the same hair follicle. Scarring and permanent hair loss may follow. The cause is unknown.
  • Folliculitis keloidalis scarring on the nape of the neck, most common among males of curly hair.
  • Oil folliculitis is inflammation of hair follicles due to exposure to various oils and typically occurs on forearms or thighs. It is common in refinery workers, road workers, mechanics, and sheep shearers. Even makeup may cause it.
  • Malignancy may also be represented by recalcitrant cases.[4]


  1. Topical antiseptic treatment is adequate for most cases
  2. Topical antibiotics such as mupirocin or Neomycin/polymyxin B/bacitracin ointment.
  3. Some patients may benefit from systemic narrow-spectrum penicillinase-resistant penicillins (such as dicloxacillin in US, or flucloxacillin in UK)
  4. Fungal folliculitis can worsen with antibiotics and may require an oral antifungal such as Fluconazole. Topical antifungals such as Econazole Nitrate may also be effective.

Folliculitis may recur even after symptoms have gone away.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NHS Direct". 
  2. ^ MedlinePlus Encyclopedia Hot tub folliculitis
  3. ^ "Severe Acne: 4 types". American Academy of Dermatology. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ Folliculitis, follicular mucinosis, and papular mucinosis as a presentation of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Rashid R, Hymes S. Dermatol Online J. 2009 May 15;15(5):16.

External links[edit]