Last Modified on May 19, 2016
Natural Folliculitis Home Remedies
Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles and typically caused by bacteria, especially Staphylococcus bacteria. Folliculitis commonly looks like red pimples with a hair in the center of each one; these pimples may have pus in them and they can itch or burn. Besides bacteria, the condition can also be caused by fungus and yeast. Folliculitis often develops after damaging the hair follicles; even shaving or wearing tight clothes that can rub against the skin can cause irritation to the follicles. Sweat, body oils, and makeup can contribute to follicle irritation.
Folliculitis can be superficial and affect only the upper part of the hair follicle, but can also start deeper in the skin and affect the entire follicle. In deep folliculitis, you may get large swollen bumps or pus-filled blisters instead of small, red pimples. Deep folliculitis can be painful and leave scars.
Home Cures for Folliculitis
On this page you can find a number of user-submitted home remedies to treat folliculitis. Our most popular natural cure for folliculitis is turmeric, but other users have found success with apple cider vinegar, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, and honeysuckle flowers. Let us know what you try from Earth Clinic to treat folliculitis. Know of a remedy not yet listed here? Please feel free to share your story with us.
Remedies for Folliculitis
The Popularity of Folliculitis Remedies - Full List
Hello, my name is Ryan and I've had 'acne keloidalis nuchae' for a few years now, about 5 bumps on the back of my neck. Would you be able to add this as a section so people can contribute remedies for this disease? Thank you!
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YEA (5) 71% BETTER BUT NOT CURED (1) 14% WORKED TEMPORARILY (1) 14%Posted by Kris (Henderson, Nevada) on 12/01/2010
[YEA] I had folliculitis on my shin for way over a year. I was on antibiotics, steroid creams and every single OTC cream, ointment, everything. I spent hundreds in doctor visits and self-medicating. The last call was a biopsy recommended by the doc. I went into Earth clinic and found the vinegar cure posted by many. I used white vinegar, in a solution of 1 tablespoon per 2 cups water. I mixed in a jar and I heated it until warm before using. Then I sat with a towel under my leg and poured the warm vinegar solution on the cotton balls. As it cooled, I poured more solution on. I sat with it on my leg for about 20 mins. At least 3 times a day. If I wanted to get up, I would plastic wrap around my leg, to keep the wet cotton on my leg, and tape it around. At night, I would make a plastic wrap around my leg, and leave the solution on all night. By the second day, my leg was healed! I continue to use the compress at least twice a day and sleep with it on at night. I have been clear since the second day, but am making sure!
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Seattle, Washington King
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Visalia, Ca, United States
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Los Angeles, Ca
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Los Angeles, Ca, Usa
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Rossendale, Lancashire, England
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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Buffalo, New York
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West College Corner, Indiana
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San Jose, Ca
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East Liverpool, Ohio, USA
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Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
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San Jose, Ca
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Posted by J M (San Jose, California) on 11/05/2007
[YEA] I've used both apple cider vinegar and just straight up white distilled vinegar to get rid of folliculitis.
I've had folliculitis twice within the past 7 months. The first time was very very bad case of folliculitis. They looked like large pimples with hair in the center. It was all over my legs. Because they were so bad, I submerged and agitated vinegar over each leg for about an hour every night and then I let it air dry. I did this for about 6 weeks. 'The second time I got folliculitis was about a month ago. I saw the familiar tell tale signs of folliculitis starting on my calves. The small red bumps were forming, and at the center were the hair follicles. So I immediately started the vinegar treatment that night. This one took me about 3 weeks or maybe a little more. Every night I'd submerge and agitate vinegar over the affected area (and maybe a little more)
It does smell, but if you let it air dry before going to bed and then showering in the morning, the smell shouldn't be noticable to others at all if you wear jeans over it.
A little warning, I do swear that this treatment works, but it does tend to burn like crazy. This can be the most depressing hour of your life because it does burn, but the burn only lasts for about the first week or so of treatment. maybe a little longer. You'll notice that the affected spots will dry up and form scabs and eventually flake off.
Do not scratch at the spots. I suggest wearing socks over your hands and maybe evening tying them up at night when sleeping.
This truly does work!! try it. Beats antibiotics and doctor visits. I buy 3 gallons of white distilled vinegar and pour em into a bucket and put one leg at a time in. I use my hands to scoop vinegar all over the legs. I change vinegar whenever it gets cloudy.
My dermatologist had me on minocyclin 100mg for 3 months along with duac for 3 -4 months with no success. He couldn't figure out how to cure it. I gave up on him and gave in to my mom's suggestion of trying vinegar treatment. This treatment is faster than the conventional treatment of using duac for the suggested 8 weeks.
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London, United Kingdom
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Maine And Nj
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Poole, Dorset, England
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YEA (4) 100%Posted by Cj (Seattle, Wa) on 12/08/2015
[YEA] If you are looking for a cure or relief from folliculitus I think you should give African black soap a chance. Mine has gotten worse and worse I realized what it was like a month or two ago and immediately started researching natural remedies. It was mainly on my scalp in the lower back and also got bad in the frontline of scalp. I washed my hair with a little bit last night when the boils were very tender, red and swollen. I woke up and it looks and feels so much better. The affected areas have lightened, no pain and no tenderness. I can barely feel the boils I felt on my head last night. I think if I continue to wash with this It will kill the infection completely, based on how much improvement I see overnight. I would recommend buying the soap in it's purest form, completely raw from Africa with no additives.
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Posted by Anmhe (Chicago, Il) on 12/08/2012
[YEA] I saw a few posts with people who suffer from scalp folliculitis. I have had folliculitis for over 25 years. It is a frustrating condition that has no apparent cure. I have tried all the forms of tetracycline, like minocin and others along with topical antiobiotics like clindamycin phosphate. I have also used medically prescribed shampoos such as capex. Basically the shampoos and topicals work for a while until the next episode.
About 3 months ago, someone introduced me to the benefits of African Black Soap. I researched as much as I could to learn about it and the antibacterial benefits of the soap. However, when I did searches for African Black Soap as a shampoo, I could not find anything. Anyway, I decided to purchase the raw form of African Black Soap from a store in Evanston IL. One night, at least two months ago, I was having the typical severe itch from folliculitis. At about 11pm, I decided I couldn't take it any longer. So I washed my hair with the pure form of the African Black Soap because I was out of medication and did not want to go visit the doctor to get a refill prescription of oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics and prescribed shampoos. Within 30 minutes, the itching subsided. I thought, well, maybe it was just the fact that I washed my hair. So I decided to wait until the next morning to see how my scalp felt. To my surprise, the itching did not return and the breakout in my scalp started to heal. Up until this point, I had never tried anything besides medication that worked other than the occassional over the counter tar shampoo containing salycylic acid.
Anyway, three days later, I felt a small itch in my scalp. So I washed my hair again. Miraculously, I had the same success, the itching subsided. It has been over two months since I've had an outbreak. I wash my hair about every three days with the pure African Black Soap. I say pure because the black soap I bought comes in chunks, directly from Africa. There are no additives or preservatives. Also, I have seen some shampoos that contain African Black Soap which I have tried. Those did not work. Anyway, I can't say for sure if the success I have had will work for anyone else, however, this is the first time in over 25 years that I have tried something to stop the breakouts and itch associated with folliculitis.
The friend that introduced me to African Black is caucasian and has folliculitis on his skin when he shaves. After he used the African black soap, his breakouts also stopped. I would suggest trying to find a store that is frequented by people of African Descent in your area and ask them who sells the African Black Soap (not the African Black Soap Shampoos that have other preservatives) or soaps just containing African Black Soap. The Black Soap that I buy comes in a huge round, made in a brown paper bag. The store where I go imports the soap from West Africa. He cuts pieces from the large round and sells it for $6 in plastic containers. You only have to use a piece the size of a dime to get the soap to lather to shampoo your hair. I also take showers with the soap as it it good for your entire body. Some people will say that African Black soap dries out your hair or skin. I found this to be the case with the liquid soaps I tried but not with the pure African Black soap chunks. This soap cleans my scalp and has rendered my scalp folliculitis dormant. As I said earlier, I wash my hair with the soap every three days. I will re post after six months to see if my success has continued. Good luck
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Santiago, Dominican Republic
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YEA (1) 100%Posted by Jeff (Brisbane, Australia) on 10/26/2011
[YEA] Hi folks, I have had folliculitis mainly on the scalp and hair line (owww! ) for 10-11 years and have been on prescribed antibiotics several times. The antibiotic treatment was less successful each time and the relief from the ailment at the last prescription was less than two weeks after the full course was taken.
I was so happy when I found this website and read so many stories similiar to mine; relief is at hand!
My approach to defeating this malady was a three pronged attack:
1. Wash hair with anti-bacterial soap;
2. Apply ACV (pew!) or anti-bacterial alcohol solution liberally to whole of scalp;
3. One teaspoon of turmeric disolved in water, drink and enjoy.
Repeat twice daily if necessary, be persistent and victory over this painful and embarrasing affliction will be yours!!!
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Visalia, Ca, United States
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San Jose, Ca
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San Francisco, CA
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Posted by Angie (S, Indiana) on 07/31/2011
I am prone to folliculitis. Over the past 6 years I have had it twice. In both instances I felt the bumps on my scalp, had flu like sympoms and ran a fever. I was put on antibiotics and was better in a week. This past May I was again diagnosed with folliculitis. I thought it was weird that I was getting folliculitis again because I had just gotten over pneumonia and an ear infection and had been on two rounds of antibiotics.
My doctor put me on more antibiotics and I got worse. He switched me to Kflex and I took four rounds of that and got worse. I switched doctors and the new Dr. Put me on Cipra. After 10 days on Cipra, I started developing a rash on my chest, arms and legs. My face was flushed and I developed sores in my mouth. I found out I am allergic to sulfides so I decided to see a dermatologist. Before I saw him they took a culture of the blisters and tested them against different antibiotics. I took that report to the dermatologist and based on the report he put me on augmentin. I got a lot worse on augmentin.
I decided to research and I found this site. I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar and it made it worse. Tea tree oil helped and turmeric helped, but it was still spreading rapidly. Swimming made it worse. Sweating made it worse. I could feel it move and spread. It hurt and burned. I quit going to the gym.
Then I read a comment on this site about developing folliculits while on antibiotics and how it caused not a bacterial based infection, but a yeast based infection. I gave this info to my dermatologist and he took me off anitibiotics and put me on a 10 day oral antifungal medication and for the first time in 11 weeks my scalp is blister free. It is all healing up and drying up. I can't thank this site enough. I am going to continue to add turmeric to my daily vitamins because I believe that it will help prevent it from coming back. I would say that you might check into yeast even if you have had a culture taken. They took a culture of my blisters and it showed a high concentration of bacteria and the report didn't say anything about yeast, but the bacteria wasn't the problem. Good Luck!
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Belfast, Ulster, Ireland
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Dale City, Va
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YEA (4) 100%Posted by Miss_jo (Boston, Ma) on 04/10/2016
[YEA] I have Folliculitis and been using straight up Apple Cider Vinegar for about 1 1/2-2 weeks now and it's working for sure and I saw immediately results. I started off using it twice a day and now I use it up to 3-4 times in a row and the bumps get huge and it pops with a little blood and puss. Yes it's very very very painful and burns when you apply the Vinegar, but I deal with it since I just want it gone. I honestly think it would've been gone by now if I had not scratched or rubbed out of desperation for relief. When I itch I just rub with ACV on my hands lol, or I scratch real quick (aggravate it) and then I apply ACV all over and more bumps pop but also form, so I try to avoid touching the area all together if I'm not cleaning it.
Posted by Larry Drake (Canada) on 11/24/2015
I came to this site and read various home remedies. I thought I'd give the vinegar a try.
I had a bump that started 6-10 weeks ago, then progressed into a sore that became painful and swollen. I went to the doctor, they prescribed me antibiotics. It seemed to take the initial swelling down but didn't get rid of the lump that was now discharging. I decided to look up other remedies and that's when I came to this site. I read about the vinegar so I thought I'd give that a try since I have that available.
I soaked a gauze pad or cotton ball in vinegar and washed the lump/bump area with the vinegar. It immediately broke and began discharging blood and puss. It stung too but I didn't mind. I treated the sore like this 2-3 times a day, washing it with vinegar as much as I could.
Well I have noticed almost immediate results and continue to experience some relief. The vinegar initially drained the sore, which the doctor said was good. But it also seems to have shrunk the lump/bump and have begun to dry it up into a smaller little, less painful lump. It is not discharging anymore either which is a good sign to me.
I'll give the vinegar a thumbs up. It seems to have worked in shrinking the lump but also making the redness, irritation and drainage go away. All good things for me because this initially freaked me out.
Thanks everyone for their tips. I'll keep using the vinegar and update once I see how things progress.
Posted by Lorraine (Perth. Western Australia) on 08/05/2013
Hi, so so pleased to have found this site, after struggling 6 long years with this hideous painfully, scarring skin condition! I was diagnosed later in life ( 42) with gluten intolerance and fibromyalgia (multiple chemical sensitivities) , consequently a dematologist initially diagnosed the red painful itching rash as herpetiformis dermatitis , m, but recently thinks I have folliculitis. I have taken doxyciline antibiotics for 6 years and now they have little effect, being a health nut I have explored many alternative treatments and I'm desperate for a cure as this condition is creeping over my entire body and has severely restricted my life ;( A few days ago I thought I would try apple cider vinegar compresses twice or three times a day and have seen a slight improvement! I am cancelling the next dematologist appointment that I cannot afford, and to be honest when I quizzed her on herbs/vitamins I got a blank look and "we don't have any data on alternative treatments'..... I am also limiting high arginine foods as these seem to flare it up, very sadly said goodbye to Lindt dark choccy.... Will keep you posted... Like the rest of you here I am the eternal optimist living in hope for remission from this vile condition!
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Posted by Joe (San Diego, Ca) on 02/26/2012
[YEA] Check dis out I have always wondered what I had on my chin area white heads dat would go away when I shaved and then come back tried everything would go away 4 a minute and then get used 2 whatever I was using and come back what a bad feeling 2 b out and your whole face looking clear and these pus filled bumps wud start coming out on my chin area please please try da ACV apple cider vinegar it works can't believe it finally a million thanks 2 all da peeps who posted on having follicoltis dis changed my life woot woot!
Posted by Dean B (Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England) on 09/24/2011
I've been diagnosed with foliculitus of the scalp, I've used different antibiotics and also tea tree oil and lavender but it's not stopped the itching.
I've had it for 3 months now, and I've restarted taking the anti-biotics again and before I had lots of scabs and sores around the back of my head and crown but now they have gone, but I still have itching.... so I bought some ACV, only one I could find was apple cidre vinegar, I applied two teaspoons to 250ml of warm water and applied to the itching areas of the scalp, and then wrapped a towel around my head and washed it off after 15 mins and then washed twice as normal with my normal shampoo, which is E45.
Now it usually stops the itching, but today it's itching more than it has in awhile and I lost more hair when washing last night, I'm a 26 yr old guy and been thinning for awhile, but now I have this itchy scalp I've lost more, but after using ACV again last night, I lost more than I have in awhile. I've used it 4-5 now over the past weeks.
So will the mother raw ACV help me more? Is it the best for scalp infections like folicilitus? I don't have the scabs so much now but have itches all over my head.
So how much ACV should I apply when washing? Should I do it before washing then shampoo or shampoo as normal then apply ACV and leave on, and if so, how long do I leave it on for?
Is it also a good idea to drink it too, to kill anything causing this follicilutis from inside me?
Anymore advice on Apple Cider Vinegar to get rid of this folicilutis is much appreciated. Thankyou.
Please reply, I really need this advice so I know what to do, as the itching is so annoying.
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San Francisco, Ca.
Posted by Deaaan (Wolverhampton, England) on 09/13/2011
I haven't got any H202 at the moment, so I can I use just use the ACV? I read two tablespoons of ACV with a cup of water, mix it round and pour onto the scalp, then put a towel round your head for 15mins and then remove towel and wash as normal? How's that sound? Would that amount be ok and would 15mins be sufficient in getting rid of my scalp infection?
I currently use E45 shampoo, its SLS free, so is that okay?
I'm going to do it tonight, so reply asap!! Thanks.
Posted by Natalie (Doncaster, England) on 01/08/2011
[YEA] just wanted say that I have had folliculitis for over three years, I had tried antibiotics, creams etc. I began to lose hope...... Until I came across using apple cider vineager 50/50 solution on the affected areas. In my case face, chest, torso sometimes legs. It worked almost immediately, within days, when I don't use the vineager solution it gradually comes back until I start to bathe the areas with the Apple Cider Vinegar again.
I also find that sea salt scrubs and baths help too. I wanted to post this as it is the only thing that has made a dramatic difference to this horrible condition. I hope this helps some one else.
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YEA (1) 100%Posted by Kathy (Livermore, Ca) on 05/26/2009
I just came down with what I thought was a horrible case of acne, something I have never had. It was painful and covering my face and neck. Just from reading your site in the past I decided to use ACV on a cotton pad. It really took it down quite a bit. But what really made it turn the table was some powder that was sent to me as a freeby when I ordered some magnesium. I think it's a bi product of mica mining. It was down right amazing. Today I just got back from the Dr. who diagnosed it as folliculitis not acne, he wants me on antibiotics. Once I heard the diagnosis, I did further research on your site, I will now try turmeric as well. I was scared enough to take the antibiotics when the Dr. said it was caused by strep or staph, but just swallowed some turmeric instead, I will let you know if it clears it completely...meanwhile I'm covered in ACV and mica dust which has been a life saver!
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Elkin, Nc, Usa
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Moncton, Nb, Canada