Folliculitis Specialist

MD Dermatology & Laser Center

Sanjiv K. Saini, M.D.

Board Certified Dermatologist & Cosmetic Surgeon located in Gambrills, MD & Edgewater, MD

Folliculitis is a common skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become irritated and inflamed. If you notice tiny red pimples with a hair in the center, you may have folliculitis. As with any skin infection, it’s best to get it checked out. Sanjiv K. Saini, MD, at MD Dermatology & Laser Center — with offices in Gambrills, Edgewater, and Lexington Park, Maryland — is ready to help you get your skin in tip-top shape. Go online or call to make an appointment today.

Folliculitis Q & A

What is folliculitis?

Folliculitis is a common skin issue where bacteria or fungus causes an infection around a hair follicle. You may feel itchy and sore in the affected area. You may know folliculitis by the nicknames of hot tub rash, razor bumps, and barber's itch.

Mild causes of folliculitis may clear up in a few days with some at-home remedies like warm compresses and over-the-counter antibiotics. However, more severe cases can cause scarring and permanent hair loss. If untreated, folliculitis spreads and turns into crusty sores.

What are the symptoms of folliculitis?

Depending on the severity of the infection and where it’s located, folliculitis can look a little different from case to case. However, common symptoms include:

  • Itchy, burning skin
  • Sensitive or painful skin
  • A swollen area of skin or bump
  • A rash of small red bumps or white-headed pimples
  • Blisters filled with pus that break open and crust over

As with any infection, it is important not to let it go unchecked. If you tried to relieve your symptoms at home, but it isn’t getting better or has gotten worse, have Dr. Saini take a look at it.

How is folliculitis treated?

Treatment plans for folliculitis fall under two categories: at-home self-care for mild cases, and doctor-directed care. At-home treatments include:

  • Applying a warm compress to relieve itching
  • Using medicated shampoo for folliculitis on the scalp or beard area
  • Using over-the-counter antibiotic ointments or hydrocortisone creams
  • Using antibacterial soap to clean the infected skin
  • Avoid shaving in the affected area

If the infection doesn’t seem to be getting better after a few days of at-home treatment, it may be time to come in to see Dr. Saini. He examines your skin, reviews your medical history, and may take a sample of the infected skin or hair to send to the lab. Depending on your particular situation, Dr. Saini may recommend the following treatments:

  • Prescription medications in pill or cream form to control the infection or relieve inflammation
  • Antifungal drugs, creams, or shampoos if your folliculitis is caused by a fungal infection
  • Minor surgery to lance a large boil

If these doctor-directed treatments are not working, laser hair removal may be recommended.

To learn your best options for treating folliculitis, call or go online to book an appointment with Dr. Saini.


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