Folliculitis is an inflammation of the pilosebaceous follicle.
Pustule formation usually suggests an infective origin, most commonly staphylococci, but chemical causes are common. Chemicals can include topical tar derivatives and oils.
Idiopathic folliculitis of the scalp can be related to stress.
Eosinophilic folliculitis may be seen in patients infected with HIV.


  • When of bacterial origin, treatment should be directed at the offending organism whether Gram-positive, Gram-negative or yeast. Systemic agents are usually required.
  • When secondary exposure to chemicals, reduction in the exposure is required for clearing.
  • Folliculitis secondary to yeast, Pityrosporum folliculitis, responds well to oral ketoconazole 200 mg daily for 5 to 10 days.
  • Idiopathic folliculitis usually responds well to tetracycline 0.5-1 gram daily or minocycline 100 mg daily or bid.