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- Irritation from clothing
- Certain medications
- Chemical exposure
- Sun exposure
- Missing nutrients in your diet
- A suppressed immune system
- Exposure to bacterial infection
- Having other skin conditions, especially those that cause a lot of itching
- Shaving against the direction of hair growth
- Use of contaminated hot tubs, poorly maintained swimming pools, or contaminated lakes
- Exposure to oils and chemicals
- Overuse of medications applied to the skin
- Itchy, red rash
- Appearance of crusty sores that don’t heal
- Pus-filled blisters around the hair follicle
- Culture—a swab of an open area to look for infections
- Smear—a sample an open area is smeared onto a glass slide to be looked at under a microscope
- Analysis of affected hair
- Biopsy of affected skin
- Blood tests
- Topical or oral antibiotics for bacterial infections
- Topical or oral antifungal medications for fungal infections
- Oral antiviral medications for viral infections
- Topical or oral antiparasitic medications for parasitic infections
- Topical corticosteroids
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Be aware of, and avoid exposure to chemicals, especially at work.
- Avoid shaving against direction of hair growth.
- Use proper hygiene and handwashing techniques.
- Clean and maintain pools and hot tubs on a regular basis.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Folliculitis. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aocd.org/?page=Folliculitis. Accessed September 25, 2014.
Folliculitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 25, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.
Hot tub rash (Pseudomonas dermatitis/folliculitis). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/rwi/illnesses/hot-tub-rash.html. Updated April 15, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.
Luelmo-Aguilar J, Satandreu MS. Folliculitis: recognition and management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2004;5(5):301-310.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014
- Update Date: 09/25/2014