Folliculitis

Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles, which are the small pouches in the skin from which hairs grow. Folliculitis can develop on any part of the body that has hair but is most common on the face, scalp, and areas rubbed by clothing, such as the thighs and groin.

The most common cause of folliculitis is bacteria, although it may also be caused by a fungus.

Folliculitis begins as a red, tender area at or near the base of one or more strands of hair. It usually looks like red pimples with a hair in the center of each one. The pimples may have pus in them, and they often itch or burn.

Mild folliculitis usually heals on its own in about 2 weeks. Oral antibiotics or antifungal medications are usually successful in clearing up deeper, more severe infections.

Last Updated: June 8, 2009

Author: Maria Essig

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology

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