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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What are common types of folliculitis?

Acne vulgaris

Acne vulgaris occurs almost universally in teenagers at puberty. Acne vulgaris is usually not considered a folliculitis, but it specifically affects the hair follicles of the face, chest, and back.

Drug-induced folliculitis

Systemically administered or topically applied steroids (cortisone-containing medications) are a well-known cause of folliculitis. Certain anti-cancer drugs produce a form of folliculitis.

Cutting oil folliculitis

Machinists exposed to insoluble cutting oils that are used to decrease the friction while machining metal parts can develop a folliculitis on the exposed skin.

Staphylococcal folliculitis

Staphylococci are bacteria that commonly inhabit the skin. One species, S. aureus, is a frequent cause of folliculitis. Occasionally, this organism may be insensitive to a number of commonly used antibiotics (such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA). In this situation, it is very important that a culture of the organism with sensitivities be performed so the ideal antibiotic is selected to treat the infection.

Fungal folliculitis

Folliculitis from a fungus infection can occur on the face and on the lower legs. It is often exacerbated by shaving. It can also occur on the trunk.

Viral folliculitis

Folliculitis from a virus infection often affects the face and is from herpes simplex virus affecting the lips, commonly known as a cold sore.

Scarring scalp folliculitis

There are a variety of rare, inflammatory, scarring types of folliculitis that can result in permanent hair loss.

Eosinophilic folliculitis

Eosinophilic folliculitis is an uncommon condition that is poorly understood and occurs occasionally as a response to certain drugs, in immunosuppressed patients (AIDS and bone marrow cancers), and in infants, affecting the scalp.

Reviewed on 6/20/2017
References
REFERENCES:

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

Laureano, Ana Cristina, Robert A. Schwartz, and Philip J. Cohen. "Facial Bacterial Infections: Folliculitis." Clinics in Dermatology 32 (2014): 711-714.

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