Folliculitis was found in 5-Minute Clinical Consult which helps you diagnose, treat, and follow up on over 900 medical conditions seen in everyday practice.
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- Inflammation of either superficial and/or deep hair follicle caused by infection, physical (traction) or chemical (tar/oils) irritation, or injury (1)
- Generally is an acute self-limiting disease that can occur anywhere on the body that hair is found.
- Clusters of pink/red raised bumps that are often pruritic, occasionally painful, and frequently embarrassing/worrisome
- Most commonly associated with infection by Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa (in the case of “hot tub folliculitis”), but also can have fungal or viral cause
- Noninfectious types include:
- Eosinophilic pustular folliculitis (Ofuji disease in patients of Asian descent)
- Eosinophilic folliculitis (seen in HIV-positive/immunocompromised)
- Folliculitis decalvans
- Pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy
- Pseudofolliculitis barbae is similar in appearance and historical causality, but it is a distinct disease process affecting the curly type hairs on the face/neck of primarily black males.
- Folliculitis is a common disorder; a majority of people have been affected at some point in their lifetime.
- Affects persons of all ages, gender, and race
- Hair removal (shaving/waxing)
- Other skin conditions: Eczema, acne
- Occlusive dressing/clothing
- Personal carrier of/or contact with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)-infected persons
- Immunosuppression (medications, chemotherapy, HIV)
- Use of hot tubs or saunas
- Diabetes mellitus
- Good hygiene practices:
- Frequent hand washing
- Antibacterial soaps
- Frequent washing in hot water of towels/linens to avoid reinfection from contaminated clothing and washcloths, etc.
- Minimize friction from clothing.
- Good hair removal practices:
- Exfoliate beforehand.
- Use witch hazel, alcohol, or TendSkin afterward.
- Shave in direction of hair growth; use moisturizer/warm water; change razor frequently.
- Decrease frequency of shaving.
Predisposing factors to folliculitis:
- Nasal carriage of S. aureus
- Exposure to (poorly chlorinated) pools/hot tubs leading to P. aeruginosa folliculitis
- Recent/Prolonged antibiotic or corticosteroid use leading to Candida folliculitis
- Staphylococcal infection
- MRSA due to increasing incidence of community-acquired infections
- Pseudomonal folliculitis commonly erupts quickly after soaking in an infected spa or hot tub.
- Pityrosporum/Malassezia folliculitis may mimic acne, as it causes folliculitis of chest, back, shoulders, face, scalp
- Herpes simplex and Herpes zoster can cause folliculitis at the site/area of the herpes infection.
- As a reaction to cutaneous larva migrans infestation
- Demodex mite infection on the face and scalp
- Transplant patients taking sirolimus are at risk for scalp folliculitis.
- Eosinophilic folliculitis is uncommon in completely healthy adults, being more common in immunosuppressed (AIDS) patients, but in Japan it occurs as Ofuji disease.
Commonly Associated Conditions