by Amy Scholten, MPH
Folliculitis is inflammation of the hair follicle. It can occur anywhere on the skin or scalp. There are many types of folliculitis.
Folliculitis has many causes. It may be infectious or noninfectious.
The infectious type is caused by:
The non-infectious type may be caused by:
Contact dermatitis, poison ivy, acne, or rosacea may also cause folliculitis.
Things that raise the risk of folliculitis are:
Symptoms of folliculitis may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam may be done. Diagnosis can usually be made by looking at the skin. Testing may be done to determine the type and cause.
Tests may include:
The goal is to treat the irritation and underlying cause. Options may be:
Folliculitis may be treated with medicines. They may be taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
To reduce the risk of folliculitis:
American Academy of Dermatology
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Canadian Dermatology Association
Public Health Agency of Canada
Folliculitis. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed February 17, 2021.
Folliculitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/folliculitis Accessed February 17, 2021.
Hot tub rash (Pseudomonas dermatitis/folliculitis). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/rwi/rashes.html. Accessed February 17, 2021.
Veraldi S, Desimine C, et al. Can folliculitis be caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis? G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2019;154(2):212-214.
Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary Beth Seymour, RN
Last Updated: 2/17/2021