Folliculitis is a frustrating type of infection different from acne. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our team can help you find relief from frequent or reoccurring infections.

What is Folliculitis?

Folliculitis is a common type of skin infection. It happens when the hair follicles become infected with bacteria and become inflamed. Although mild folliculitis can heal on its own within a few days, serious or reoccurring infections will require the help of a board-certified dermatologist to prevent hair loss or scarring.

Types of Folliculitis

Staphylococcus Aureus Folliculitis

This type of folliculitis is the most common and happens when the staphylococcus aureus bacterium infects the follicle. It produces small pimples on the skin and resolves within a few days.

“Hot Tub” Folliculitis

This type of folliculitis occurs after contact with heated, moving water like hot tubs, pools, or water slides. It happens because the pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium thrives in these types of environments. It can be itchy and fades on its own within a few days.

Razor Bumps

Also called pseudofolliculitis barbae, razor bumps are more common in people who have curly hair or shave in certain areas like the face or bikini area.

What Causes Folliculitis?

Folliculitis can have a variety of causes but at its core, it’s caused by a bacterial infection. There are many different ways this can happen, including:

  • Shaving or waxing
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight/Obesity
  • Unsanitary hot tubs or saunas
  • Improper hygiene after sweating

In some cases, the cause of folliculitis is unknown.

What Are My Treatment Options for Folliculitis?

Your treatment plan for folliculitis can depend on the severity. Mild folliculitis can be treated at home by keeping the skin clean and free from irritation – it usually subsides within a few days. More severe folliculitis may need antibiotics prescribed by your dermatologist or even drainage.

Maintaining Healthy Skin with Folliculitis

Folliculitis can be prevented with some steps. Firstly, make sure to shave less often and use a clean, sharp razor. Additionally, avoid hot tubs or heated pools that don’t have the proper level of chemical disinfectant (and shower thoroughly afterward). If you sweat often, make sure to wear breathable clothing and shower soon afterward. Finally, follow instructions after waxing (like avoiding hot showers or hot tubs and sleeping on clean sheets) to avoid infection of the follicles.


Dr. Austin Cope is a Utah native as well as a highly educated and well-trained cosmetic dermatologist. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our team is here to help you look and feel your best.


Dr. Cope can help you achieve a new level of confidence with aesthetic experience and a laid-back approach. To learn more, contact us through our online form or give us a call.

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