ABC Medical Center > Folliculitis

What is Folliculitis?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


Folliculitis is one of the most frequent skin conditions. It is the inflammation of the hair follicles caused by bacterial or fungal infections.

The beginning of the infection causes the appearance of reddish or whitish bumps that surround the hair follicles, which can disappear following personal hygiene procedures, but in serious cases, the infection spreads causing ulcers that are difficult to treat, causing pain, itching, and in some occasions, scarring and hair loss from the affected follicles.

The most common infection is caused by staphylococcus, especially Staphylococcus aureus; although there are also cases of fungal and viral infections.

Signs and symptoms Folliculitis

  • Reddish or whitish eruptions that surround the hair follicles.
  • Purulent sores
  • Itch.
  • Irritation.
  • Pain.
  • Cutaneous hypersensitivity.

Types of folliculitis:

  • Bacterial: it is the most common and manifests with purulent whitish lumps.
  • By pseudomonas: reddish rashes that cause itching and burning. The infection usually occurs in swimming pools, bathtubs, or hot tubs.
  • Pseudofolliculitis barbae: when, due to the presence of ingrown hairs, skin irritation occurs in areas of the body that can be shaved, especially in the beard.
  • By Pityrosporum: produced by candidiasis, causes abundant purulent reddish rashes on the chest, back, arms, and face.

Potential risks:

  • Long antibiotic treatments.
  • Using tight clothing made of rubber or fibers that do not allow perspiration.
  • Suffering from any condition that affects your immune system.
  • Frequently using unhygienic bathtubs, pools, or jacuzzis.
  • Shaving frequently.
  • Suffering from skin conditions such as dermatitis or acne.

Diagnosis and treatment Folliculitis

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination and a thorough skin check, which may include a dermoscopy or a skin sample to be analyzed in the laboratory and determine the infectious agent.

When the type of infection is identified, your doctor will establish the treatment to be followed according to the characteristics of the pathogens and the severity of the condition, but they can usually include:


  • Antibiotics: topical creams are often used, but when the infection is severe, they can be combined with oral antibiotics.
  • Antifungals: these can be creams, lotions, or oral medications to fight fungal infections.
  • Anti-inflammatories: topical steroid creams are usually prescribed, but if the doctor deems it necessary, they can also be prescribed orally.

Alternative procedures:

  • Surgery: this is an intervention that consists of draining the purulent fluids through incisions.
  • Laser hair removal: to avoid complications and root out the problem, the hair follicles are permanently removed.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • cun.es
  • topdoctors.es
  • cigna.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Guzmán A, Chanussot C, Arenas R, et al. Foliculitis por Malassezia sp. Estudio retrospectivo de 55 pacientes inmunocompetentes. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2005;3(4):325-330.
  • Ruiz MJM, Vásquez RM, Puebla MM, et al. Foliculitis pseudolinfomatosa: reporte de caso. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2020;18(2):111-114.
  • Rodríguez-Acar MC, Lin S, González-Gutiérrez JF. Foliculitis infecciosas estafilocócicas. (Parte II). Rev Cent Dermatol Pascua. 2017;26(3):92-95.
  • Jeremías X, Giménez-Arnau AM. Foliculitis de pelos en penacho. Med Cutan Iber Lat Am. 2003;31(2):113-115.

How can we help you?

    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.