Folliculitis is caused by occlusion of the hair follicle leading to inflammation. Often, occlusion does not take place, rather, bacteria from the skin and outside sources invade and inflame the follicle. The most common presentation is the appearance of pus filled bumps, usually on the back, legs, and arms. There is also a variant of this condition that occurs in the beard area and neck of men. While the first case may most probably be due to a superficial infection, the second case is mainly due to ingrown hairs.

Furunculosis is a larger and more inflamed version of folliculitis, while carbunculosis is the inflammation and infection of numerous follicles resulting in an area larger than furunculosis.

Potential Treatments

The treatment of folliculitis typically includes topical benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, antibiotic washes, or sodium sulfacetamide products. Many regimens also include oral antibiotics. This is especially important in those who carry infective bacteria in their noses or on their skin. Your physician may conduct a bacterial culture of the nose or skin to determine if these areas are colonized with the bacteria.

Your regimen may include using Bactoban, Altabax, or Centany to your nasal passages (nares). This is typically done 3 times a day for the first week of the month, for 3-4 months.

Should excess redness, swelling, or pain be noted in any lesion, it is important that you consult your dermatologist for personalized recommendations.

Return to Education Center

Dermatologist Beverly Hills Dermatologist Los AngelesCall us now at 310.205.3555 or 818.914.7546 to set up your appointment, or click here to set up your appointment online.