Folliculitis - Treatment

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What is the treatment for folliculitis? Are there any home remedies for folliculitis?

There are many treatment options and skin-care recipes for treating folliculitis. The specific treatment depends on the cause of the folliculitis.

Home therapy for mild cases of bacterial folliculitis includes use of an over-the-counter antibacterial wash like benzoyl peroxide (Clearisil, Proactiv), chlorhexidine (Hibiclens), or Phisoderm twice a day. The best results may be achieved with combination therapy using topical products and antibacterial washes.

Holistic treatment for folliculitis may include soaking the affected area in a tub of diluted white vinegar (1 part vinegar to 4 parts of water) or soaking in a bathtub with very diluted Clorox bleach (¼ cup of Clorox bleach in a bathtub full of water).

Bacterial folliculitis may be treated with antibacterial skin washes and topical and/or oral antibiotics. It is important to keep in mind that as with any condition, no therapy is uniformly effective in all people. A doctor may need to help evaluate the cause of the folliculitis.

Moderate cases of bacterial folliculitis may be treated by a routine of twice-daily application of a topical antibiotic, such as clindamycin lotion or metronidazole lotion. A five- to 30-day course of an oral antibiotic like cephalexin (Keflex), dicloxacillin (Dynapen), doxycycline, minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), or levofloxacin (Levaquin) may be used for folliculitis that is more resistant. After initial clearing with stronger medications, a milder maintenance antibacterial wash and topical antibiotic may be recommended.

Fungal or yeast folliculitis is often treated with an antifungal shampoo or body wash such as ketoconazole (Nizoral shampoo) twice daily. More resistant or deeper fungal folliculitis may require the addition of a topical antifungal cream such as miconazole (Lotrimin) or terbinafine (Lamisil) and an antifungal pill such as fluconazole (Diflucan).

Persistent skin discoloration called hyperpigmentation may be treated with prescription fading creams like hydroquinone 4%, kojic acid, and azelaic acid 15%-20%. Over-the-counter fading creams with 2% hydroquinone like Porcelana may be somewhat effective.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Ste h, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 13

When my folliculitis started it was in late summer. It appeared on the sides of my torso where there is little hair, and I initially thought it was insect bites! Soon it spread to my chest and one arm only. It wasn't itchy or sore but very unsightly. I went to my doctors who diagnosed it correctly and gave me antibiotics. This reduced the redness but did not get rid of them. I tried dabbing the spots with hydrogen peroxide which stung badly for a few seconds but did start to dry them out. I then tried white distilled vinegar, and when air-dried I applied liberal amount of antibacterial hand wash, the clear gel you can find in hospitals. Again this stings for a short while but I saw improvement in a few days. I continued this treatment twice a day for 2 to 3 weeks and now it has almost all gone!

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Comment from: jb1949, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 26

I got the diagnosis of folliculitis with the use of a biopsy. I was given treatment with a Medrol Dosepak (steroid). Antibiotics do absolutely nothing for folliculitis. I had it so bad my arms looked like I had measles and I had large boil like sores on my neck and arms. Dermatologist had me on antibiotics for three weeks. I went to my family doctor and he prescribed the steroid which took care of it. He also gave a shot for the terrible itching.

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