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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:

  • 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
Aug. 21, 2014

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