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: Barbara, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I had recurring folliculitis in my pubic region. My primary care physician prescribed an antibiotic ointment, which was tacky in texture, messy to apply, messy within my underwear, and did nothing to control the oozing of blood and pus from an erupted lesion. The last time I got all the lesions to clear up, I started wiping the affected area down with a tissue moistened generously with simple rubbing alcohol every night before I went to bed. I haven't had a recurrence in eight months. It may not work for everyone, but at least it's cheap to try.

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Comment from: psoriasis? 2013, (Patient) Published: August 13

Try detoxing 2 or 3 days a week for a month or two, then try washing up with black soap. My folliculitis breakouts used to go away after a few weeks, but stress and aging makes it last longer. I'm trying black soap to remove the bacteria from my skin.

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