Pseudofolliculitis barbae; Tinea barbae; Barber’s itch
Definition of Folliculitis
Folliculitis is inflammation of one or more hair follicles. It can occur anywhere on the skin.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Folliculitis starts when hair follicles are damaged by friction from clothing, blockage of the follicle, or shaving. In most cases of folliculitis, the damaged follicles are then infected with the bacteria Staphylococcus (staph).
Common symptoms include a , itching, and or pustules near a hair follicle in the neck, groin, or genital area. The pimples may crust over.
Signs and tests
A diagnosis is primarily based on how the skin looks. Lab tests may show which bacteria or fungus is causing the infection.
Hot, moist compresses may promote drainage of the affected follicles. Treatment may include antibiotics applied to the skin (mupirocin) or taken by mouth (dicloxacillin), or antifungal medications to control the infection.
Folliculitis usually responds well to treatment, but may come back.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 10/28/2010