The term folliculitis means inflammation of a hair follicle, which can occur anywhere on the skin with hair or hairs (i.e. anywhere with exception of soles and feet). Folliculitis can be classified as a less serious purulent skin infection.


The infection is usually caused by bacteria belonging to group of staphylococci. The bacteria can invade a hair follicle after its injury, for example after shaving, rubbing or insect bite. Purulent skin infections are generally more frequent with patients with weakened immunity.


The skin around the affected hair follicle turns red and a small painful bump may occur. The folliculitis may heal without leaving any scar or progress into more severe forms of purulent skin infection (boil, carbuncle).


The proper diagnosis can be confirmed by the naked eye.


The inflamed area must be treated hygienically with local disinfectants and antibiotic ointments. Extensive folliculitis and its complications sometimes require orally-administered antibiotics or even the surgical approach.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources