Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles. It can be caused by an infection in the hair follicles, chemical irritation or physical irritation (e.g., shaving or friction from clothing). Typical body areas affected by folliculitis include the face, thighs and scalp. Folliculitis is more common in people who have diabetes mellitus, are obese, or have a compromised immune system.

Symptoms of Folliculitis

The main lesion in folliculitis is a papule or pustule with a central hair. The hair shaft in the middle of the lesion may not be visible. Other symptoms include:

  • Multiple red pimples and/or pustules on hair-bearing areas of the body
  • Rash
  • Itching skin

Treatment of Folliculitis

Topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics or antifungal medications may be used to treat infections associated with folliculitis. Treatment also involves preventing further damage to the hair follicles. Steps that can help achieve this goal include:

  • Minimizing friction from clothing
  • Not shaving in the affected area, if possible. If shaving is necessary, use a clean new razor blade or an electric razor each time.
  • Keeping the area clean