Top of the page
Folliculitis (say "fuh-LIK-yuh-LY-tus") is an infection of the pouches (follicles) in the skin where hair grows. It can occur on any part of the body, but it is most common on the scalp, face, armpits, and groin. Bacteria, such as those found in a hot tub, can cause folliculitis.
Folliculitis begins as a red, tender area near a strand of hair. The skin can itch or burn and may drain pus or blood. Sometimes folliculitis can lead to more serious skin infections.
Your doctor usually can treat mild folliculitis with an antibiotic cream or ointment. If you have folliculitis on your scalp, you may use a shampoo that kills bacteria. Antibiotics you take as pills can treat infections deeper in the skin.
For stubborn cases of folliculitis, laser treatment may be an option. Laser treatment uses strong beams of light to destroy the hair follicle. But hair will no longer grow in the treated area.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter M257 in the search box to learn more about "Folliculitis: Care Instructions".
Current as of: October 31, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.