Folliculitis

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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How do health-care professionals diagnose folliculitis?

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 or other infectious organisms. 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. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 2/23/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Durdu, M., and M. Ilkit. "First Step in the Differential Diagnosis of Folliculitis: Cytology." Crit Rev Microbiol. 39 (2013): 9-25.

Leulmo-Aguilar, Jesus, and Mireia Sabat Santandreu. "Folliculitis: Recognition and Management." Am J Clin Dermatol 5.5 (2004): 301-310.

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