Folliculitis (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Who develops folliculitis?

Anyone can develop folliculitis wherever hair follicles are present on the body. Lesions of folliculitis most frequently involve the face, scalp, chest, back, buttocks, and legs. It does not affect the eyes, mouth, palms, or soles, where there are no hair follicles. Folliculitis probably affects all humans to some extent at some time during their lives.

Certain groups of people are more prone to develop folliculitis. People with diabetes and those with a compromised immune system (such as from HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, chronic illnesses, cancer, systemic chemotherapy, immune-suppressing drugs) may be more prone to develop folliculitis.

What are the causes of folliculitis?

Folliculitis can be caused by a large number of infectious organisms. However, frequently folliculitis is sterile and seems to be induced by irritating chemical substances, drugs and physical irritants like shaving. Differentiating these causes is very important if the physician is going to be able to treat the condition successfully.

How is folliculitis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of folliculitis is generally based on the appearance of the skin. In some situations, a microbial culture of the pus will help to detect an infectious cause. It may be necessary to pull out some of the affected hairs and examine these microscopically using potassium hydroxide in order to detect fungal infections. Occasionally, a small skin biopsy may be used to help the doctor confirm the diagnosis. Infectious causes include bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Usually, no specific blood tests are needed in the diagnosis of common folliculitis.

What else could folliculitis look like?

There are a large number of exotic conditions that may involve inflammation of the hair follicles. It takes an expert to distinguish these. If the condition does not resolve spontaneously, it is wise to visit a doctor.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/25/2015

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Folliculitis - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with folliculitis.
Folliculitis - Diagnosis Question: How was your folliculitis diagnosed?
Folliculitis - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your folliculitis?
Folliculitis - Prognosis Question: What is your folliculitis prognosis?