Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Folliculitis facts
- What is folliculitis? What are folliculitis symptoms and signs? What does folliculitis look like?
- Who develops folliculitis?
- What are the causes of folliculitis?
- How is folliculitis diagnosed?
- What else could folliculitis look like?
- What are common types of folliculitis?
- What is hot tub folliculitis or Jacuzzi folliculitis?
- What is razor burn folliculitis?
- What is pseudofolliculitis barbae?
- Is folliculitis curable? Is folliculitis contagious?
- What are possible complications of folliculitis?
- How is folliculitis treated?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) with folliculitis?
- How do I prevent folliculitis?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What are the causes of folliculitis?
Folliculitis can be caused by a large number of infectious organisms. Frequently folliculitis seems to be induced by irritating substances, environmental or anatomical defects, internal abnormalities and drugs. Differentiating these causes is very important if the physician is going to be able to treat the condition successfully.
How is folliculitis diagnosed?
The diagnosis of folliculitis is generally based on the appearance of the skin. In some situations, a microbial culture of the pus will help to detect a bacterial cause. It may be necessary to pull out some of the affected hairs and examine these microscopically using potassium hydroxide in order to detect fungal infections. Occasionally, a small skin biopsy may be used to help the doctor confirm the diagnosis. Infectious causes include bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Usually, no specific blood tests are needed in the diagnosis of common folliculitis.
What else could folliculitis look like?
There are a large number of exotic conditions that may involve inflammation of the hair follicles. It takes an expert to distinguish these. If the condition does not resolve spontaneously, it is wise to visit your doctor.
What are common types of folliculitis?
Systemically administered or topically applied steroids (cortisone medications) are a well-known cause of folliculitis.
Cutting oil folliculitis
Machinists exposed to insoluble cutting oils that are use to decrease the friction between machine tools and metal parts can develop a folliculitis on the exposed skin.
Staphylococci are bacteria that commonly inhabit the skin. One species, S. aureus, is a frequent cause of folliculitis. Occasionally, this organism may be insensitive to a number of commonly used antibiotics (such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA). In this situation, it is very important that a culture of the organism with sensitivities be performed so the ideal antibiotic is selected.
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