Folliculitis, a common skin condition, occurs when hair follicles become inflamed, resulting in small red bumps, itching, and occasionally, pus-filled blisters. At Pinnacle Dermatology, our experienced team recognizes the impact of folliculitis, commonly affecting areas where hair removal or friction is frequent, such as the face, neck, thighs, and buttocks. Contributing factors include bacterial or fungal infections and irritation from shaving or tight clothing.

Superficial Folliculitis affects the upper part of the hair follicle and can cause clusters of red bumps, pus-filled blisters, red and/or inflamed skin, as well as itchiness or tenderness.

Deep Folliculitis is a more serious type of folliculitis that starts deeper in the skin surrounding the hair follicle and thus can infect the whole hair follicle. Deep folliculitis can manifest as a large swollen bump and pus-filled blisters and can cause pain and possible scarring once the infection has disappeared.

If you're dealing with the discomfort of folliculitis, our trusted Skin Surgery Center  providers offer specialized care, providing effective solutions to alleviate symptoms and prevent recurrence. Schedule an appointment at the Skin Surgery Center  for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized folliculitis management to promote healthy skin.

What are the Symptoms of Folliculitis?

  • Itchy and or painful bumps in and around your hair follicles. 
  • Clusters of red bumps, pus-filled blisters, red and/or inflamed skin.
  • Itchiness or tenderness.
  • Possible scarring once the infection has disappeared.
  • Folliculitis occurs in damaged follicles, and while you have the greatest number of follicles on your head, the condition can occur virtually anywhere.

Causes of Folliculitis

  • Shaving.
  • Tight clothing friction.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Skin inflammation from conditions.
  • Skin injuries.
  • Non-breathable materials like adhesive tape on the skin.
  • Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. 

How to Prevent Folliculitis

Our team of skin experts has a range of preventive measures to help individuals avoid the development of folliculitis.

Here are key recommendations:
  • Gentle Shaving Techniques: We advise using a sharp, clean razor and incorporating gentle shaving techniques to minimize irritation. Shaving in the direction of hair growth and avoiding excessive pressure can reduce the risk of folliculitis.
  • Maintaining Skin Hygiene: Regular cleansing with mild, fragrance-free soap helps to keep the skin clean and free from potential irritants that can contribute to folliculitis.
  • Avoiding Tight Clothing: Our team of skin experts recommends wearing loose, breathable clothing to reduce friction and allow the skin to breathe, minimizing the risk of folliculitis associated with tight clothing.
  • Proper Wound Care: Prompt and proper care of any skin injuries, cuts, or wounds is crucial to prevent bacterial entry and subsequent folliculitis.
  • Hydration and Moisturization: Keeping the skin well-hydrated and moisturized is essential. Our providers can recommend suitable moisturizers to maintain the skin barrier.
By incorporating our dermatologist-recommended practices into daily skincare routines, individuals can significantly reduce the chances of developing folliculitis and maintain healthier, more resilient skin.

Folliculitis FAQs

Diagnosis is usually based on your dermatologist's examination of the affected skin. In some cases, a culture or other tests may be conducted to identify the specific microorganism responsible.

Folliculitis itself is not typically contagious, but the microorganisms that cause it may be spread through direct contact. Practicing good hygiene and avoiding shared items can help prevent the spread of infection.

Yes, certain activities or professions that involve prolonged exposure to hot and humid environments, friction, or contact with contaminated surfaces may increase the risk of developing folliculitis. Athletes, individuals who shave frequently, and those working in certain occupations may be more susceptible.

Yes, folliculitis can occur on any part of the body where hair follicles are present. Common areas include the face, neck, chest, back, buttocks, and thighs. The location and severity of folliculitis may vary among individuals.

Moisturizers can play a role in managing folliculitis, but their effectiveness may vary depending on the underlying cause and type of folliculitis.

In some cases, folliculitis can be exacerbated by dry or irritated skin. Using a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer can help maintain skin hydration and reduce irritation, potentially alleviating some symptoms associated with folliculitis. Moisturizers can also aid in supporting the skin's barrier function, which may contribute to overall skin health and help prevent further irritation of hair follicles.

However, it's important to note that while moisturizers can provide relief from dryness and mild irritation, they might not directly treat the infection or underlying cause of folliculitis. If the condition is due to a bacterial or fungal infection, using a moisturizer alone may not resolve the issue, and specific treatments, such as antibiotics or antifungal medications, may be required as prescribed by a dermatologist.

For individuals dealing with folliculitis, especially in cases where moisturizers offer some relief, it's advisable to opt for fragrance-free and non-comedogenic moisturizers to minimize the risk of further irritation or clogging of hair follicles. Consulting with a dermatologist is crucial to determine the appropriate skincare routine and treatment plan tailored to the specific type and cause of folliculitis for effective management.

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Folliculitis Treatment

Our team has a multifaceted approach to effectively treat folliculitis. Schedule an appointment today to get a tailored treatment that fits your individualized circumstances and start your journey to healthy skin.
Common treatment modalities include:
  • Topical Antibiotics or Antifungals: For mild cases, our providers may prescribe topical antibiotics or antifungal creams to address bacterial or fungal infections causing folliculitis.
  • Oral Medications: In more severe or recurrent cases, oral antibiotics or antifungal medications may be recommended to target the infection from within.
  • Corticosteroids: Topical or oral corticosteroids can alleviate inflammation and reduce redness and itching associated with folliculitis.
  • Laser Therapy: Dermatologists may utilize laser therapy to target and destroy hair follicles affected by chronic or recurrent folliculitis.