Folliculitis is caused by an infection of hair follicles, usually from the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Folliculitis may also be caused by viruses, fungi and even an inflammation from ingrown hairs.
The condition is classified as either superficial or deep, based on how much of the hair follicle it involves. Deep folliculitis is usually more severe.
Follicles are densest on your scalp, and they occur everywhere on your body except your palms, soles, lips and mucous membranes. Damaged follicles are at risk of infection.
The most common causes of follicle damage are:
Aug. 21, 2014
- Friction from shaving or tight clothing
- Heat and sweat, such as that caused by wearing rubber gloves or waders
- Certain skin conditions, such as dermatitis and acne
- Injuries to your skin, such as from scrapes or surgical wounds
- Coverings on your skin, such as plastic dressings or adhesive tape
- Folliculitis. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/folliculitis.html. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Folliculitis. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec11/ch129/ch129e.html. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Hot tub rash (pseudomonas dermatitis/folliculitis). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/rwi/illnesses/hot-tub-rash.html. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Pseudofolliculitis barbae. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec11/ch134/ch134d.html?qt=pseudofolliculitis barbae&alt=sh. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Rajendran P, et al. HIV-associated eosinophilic folliculitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Alexis A, et al. Folliculitis keloidalis nuchae and pseudofolliculitis barbae: Are prevention and effective treatment within reach? Dermatologic Clinics. 2014;32:183.
- AskMayoExpert. Folliculitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Baddour LM. Folliculitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 11, 2014.
- Compton GA. Bacterial skin and soft tissue infections in older adults. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. 2013;29:443.
- Fraes Diernaes JE, et al. Successful treatment of recalcitrant folliculitis barbae and pseudofolliculitis barbae with photodynamic therapy. Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy. 2013;10:651.
- Laureano AC, et al. Facial bacterial infections: Folliculitis. Clinics in Dermatology. In press. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Mazza J, et al. Pseudomonas folliculitis contracted from rubber gloves: A public health concern. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2013;69:e93.
- Motswaledi MH, et al. The spectrum of HIV-associated infective and inflammatory dermatoses in pigmented skin. Dermatologic Clinics. 2014;32:211.
- Sardana K. Follicular disorders of the face. Clinics in Dermatology. In press. Accessed May 5, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.