Folliculitis is inflammation of the hair follicle. It can occur anywhere on the skin or scalp. There are many types of folliculitis.
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Folliculitis has many causes. It may be infectious or noninfectious.
The infectious type is caused by:
The non-infectious type may be caused by:
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:
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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