Factors that may increase your chanced of folliculitis:
A suppressed immune system
Exposure to bacterial infection
Having other skin conditions, especially those that cause a lot of itching
Shaving against the direction of hair growth
Use of contaminated hot tubs, poorly maintained swimming pools, or contaminated lakes
Exposure to oils and chemicals
Overuse of medications applied to the skin
Folliculitis may cause:
Itchy, red rash
Appearance of crusty sores that do not heal
Pus-filled blisters around the hair follicle
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis may be made by looking at your skin. Testing will help your doctor determine the type and cause of the folliculitis. Other tests may be done to rule out specific skin or health conditions.
Tests may include:
Culture—a swab of an open area to look for infections
Smear—a sample an open area is smeared onto a glass slide to be looked at under a microscope
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. Updated May 4, 2016. Accessed September 27, 2017.
Luelmo-Aguilar J, Satandreu MS. Folliculitis: recognition and management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2004;5(5):301-310.
Last reviewed September 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcie L. Sidman, MD
Last Updated: 9/25/2014
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