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Folliculitis is a common skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed. It's usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. At first it may look like small red bumps or white-headed pimples around hair follicles — the tiny pockets from which each hair grows. The infection can spread and turn into nonhealing, crusty sores.

The condition isn't life-threatening, but it can be itchy, sore and embarrassing. Severe infections can cause permanent hair loss and scarring.

If you have a mild case, it'll likely clear in a few days with basic self-care measures. For more serious or recurring folliculitis, you may need to see a doctor.

Certain types of folliculitis are known as hot tub rash, razor bumps and barber's itch.

Aug. 21, 2014

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