Feature Article

Folliculitis: diagnosis and management of subtypes

Feature Article

Folliculitis: diagnosis and management of subtypes

JOSHUA FARRELL, Stephen Shumack

Figures

© antonio gravante/ shutterstock
© antonio gravante/ shutterstock

Abstract

Folliculitis is a common disorder, although the exact prevalence is unknown. It presents as erythematous pustules surrounding hair follicles. It may be due to a superficial or deep infection of the follicle, or may be secondary to trauma. Deeper infections present as sycosis and folliculitis decalvans. Good grooming and hygiene are key to treatment and long-term resolution, alongside pharmacological therapies.

Key Points

  • Folliculitis is characterised by inflammation of the hair follicle, with formation of a pustule.
  • Superficial folliculitis may arise from mechanical or chemical irritants, such as during hair removal and grooming, or infection with Staphylococcus aureus. It is usually self-limiting and requires little pharmacological intervention.
  • However, deeper infections can result in more persistent and recurrent subtypes of folliculitis such as sycosis or folliculitis decalvans.
  • The mainstays of treatment are hygiene and grooming, alongside antibiotics or antifungals depending on the causative agent and subtype.