What is folliculitis?

Folliculitis means inflammation of a hair follicle. Folliculitis is a broad term for a collection of diseases regarding inflammation of the hair follicle. This inflammation can affect any place on the body where there is hair, most commonly on the scalp, chest, back, and buttocks. Folliculitis can be superficial or deep.

What causes folliculitis?

Folliculitis can be caused by bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses, parasites, trauma, and contact reactions. Staph is the cause of most bacterial folliculitis, while Pseudomonas is the cause of bacterial folliculitis from a spa or pool. Malassezia is a common yeast that can cause folliculitis on the trunk of young adults.

After waxing or shaving, the regrowth of the hair may cause folliculitis. There is no infectious component to this type of folliculitis.

When topical steroids are not used properly, folliculitis can also occur.

What are the signs/symptoms of folliculitis?

Folliculitis appears as a red pustule in a hair bearing area. This pustule looks similar to an acne bump and can be tender.

How is folliculitis diagnosed?

This is a clinical diagnosis. The cause of folliculitis may be determined by a culture of tissue or pustular fluid.

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