How to Get Rid of Folliculitis

Last Modified on Oct 24, 2014

Multiple Remedies   4  0   

Posted by Bill (Nashville, Tennessee) on 08/07/2011

[YEA]  I had staph for about six years. I had a culture done by a doctor, and dioxycycline was the antibiotic the strain of staph I had was succeptible to. I was also told to take a bleach bath every other day (3/4 cup of bleach in my bath water). I did it, and the staph on my neck and lower face cleared up; however the staph on my forehead would never totally clear up. It was deep down in my pores.

What finally worked was using bleach water compresses twice per day. People can't tolerate full bleach baths more than every other day because it begins to sting and burn one's skin too much. However, I could tolerate the bleach water compresses twice per day. The every other day bleach bath just wasn't enough to kill the bacteria faster than it was multiplying - but the twice per day bleach water compresses were.

Also many say to use antibacterial soap. However, this dried my skin too much and killed the good bacteria that fights staph. I switched to Camay and Dove brand soaps, and combined with the bleach compresses my staph cleared all the way up.

I did have success with vinegar at one point, but it keeps the staph sores open while it kills them. They would spread and spread while open - I would get my forehead clear, but it would get on my neck because the vinegar kept the sores open and let the fluid cause the infection to spread around my head when I slept. The bleach water did not keep the sores open and spreading while they healed like the vinegar did.

Posted by Brendon
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Hi all, I have been suffering from Foliculitis Decalvans for about 7 years. Before this month I had tried shampoos, diet change recommended by a naturopath, doxycycline, rifampin, clindamycin and nothing worked. As you are all aware, it is very humiliating to sit in a hairdressers chair and have to explain the condition each time.

My wife has been on at me for a while about going back to the dermatologist (who I had spent 2000 with to no avail), but it wasn't until I noticed permanent hair loss at my crown that I went back to my GP to get a referral.

Given the time to wait to get a dermo appointment, my new GP suggested a new swab and blood test, and noticed staph was present (previous swab didn't show). She suggested multiple lines of defense listed below;

  • Clarythramycin 250mg 3 times daily
  • Cephalexcen 300mg twice daily
  • Selsun shampoo
  • Tea tree conditioner
  • Fucidin ointment with grapeseed oil (to water down) topically.

After two weeks but scalp has all but completely healed. Most of my scalp hair is clamped together, but the weeping sores have all gone. It has now been 8 weeks and touch wood it stays away. I'll let you all know if it does.

Posted by Ben
Jax, Fl
[YEA]   Thank You Thank You. A warm bleach compress twice per day for 2 weeks has completely cured my foliculitis!

I've dealt with the pain and emberassment for 3 years, used vinegar for months but never cured.

Mustard Oil   1  0   

Posted by Zed (London, Uk) on 01/02/2013

[YEA]  Hi, This is a wonderful website, I have been gratefully using some of the natural remedies that all the users and main contributors have been posting to much effect!! so a big thank you to all!!

I wanted to share my tips as you all have been helping me indirectly. ;-)

I have recently been suffering from Folliculitus/ scalp infection?, the doctors gave me the usual steroid creams that have only made the issue severe, I stopped using this a few months back and started to use the ACV/Hydrogen peroxide shampoo, Bill kindly posted and also his essential oil mix of tea tree oil and lavender oils mixed together at a ratio of 4:1, this has worked well for me, but didnt completely resolve it... My dear mum/grandma advised me the old African/Indian remedy for scalp complaints is pure "Mustard oil", but I need to make sure I have no other infections on my body as I can reinfect myself, so they advised the following:

- Bath every other day in "Dettol". ( 3/4 cap fulls in the bath, soak for at least 30 mins)
- use ACV/h202/filtered water shampoo, leave on for 5 mins and then wash off.
- dunk hair in the bath water with dettol mix and just rub into scalp
- Dry hair but don't rinse the dettol off, as you need it to dry on scalp slightly.
- Once hair has completely dried.... I use 4 drops tea tree oil and 1 drop of lavender oil, mixed into the same amount of mustard oil, warm slightly and then gently massage into the WHOLE of my scalp.
- Cover head with a towel or whatever you can find and then sleep with this on overnight.

I have found that the above has helped me tremendously!! after 4 days of usage, my scalp is about 99.9% clear!! My gran advised the mustard oil never fails! as its anti fungal and the tea tree oil is antibacterial, so what ever is causing the inflammation should be killed off in a couple of weeks. Once your scalp is better, just do the above regime once a week as a preventative measure.

I hope the above info helps someone, like you have all helped me!

all the best and good luck! Zed

Posted by Zed
London, Uk
Hi All, Just and update for you all...... the mustard oil has been working well, it has cleared up the infection but not the odd spot I still get from my scalp Folliculitus.

Grandma has updated me on some changes to help clear this up, that I thought I would share with you.

I still use the hydrogen peroxide, ACV water shampoo, but have dropped using the essential oils ( tea tree/lavender) as they were starting to irritate my scalp..... Instead I just use the mustard oil, but instead of just applying this at night, I mix 1 part mustard oil with a little cold filtered water into a bottle and give it a good shake...... You will notice the mixture changes in colour and consistency to look like more of a lotion than oil ( this is how it should look! ). I apply this to my head nightly, and wash off in the morning.

I have found the water reacts with the mustard oil and you get a different reaction, making the mustard oil more cooling and easier to apply.

I also now have non pasteurised yogurt 1st thing for breakfast and wait at least an hour before I eat anything else?, my gran says this helps with the internal cooling/cleansing.

Hope this update helps someone.

All the best, Zed.

Over the Counter   1  0   

Posted by Velcra (Brooklyn, New York) on 08/07/2012

[YEA]  My 15 year old son has been suffering with scalp folliculitis for the past 4-5 years. Like most people with this condition, he has tried both oral and topical antibiotics, anti-fungals, shampoos, and natural remedies. NOTHING worked. Finally, the last derm he saw (there have been many) told him to try washing his head with Pan Oxyl bar soap. After only 2-3 uses, there has been about a 95% improvement. On the days he does not use the Pan Oxyl, he washes his hair with Head and Shoulders CLINICAL Strength shampoo (also recommended by Derm). I have been consumed with trying to find a solution for this poor kid. Hopefully, this is the answer. I know how frustrating this condition can be, but don't give up. I hope someone benefits from this post.

Posted by Velcra
Brooklyn, New York
2 Posts
My sixteen year old son has suffered half his life with this frustrating condition. I have posted here before having had good results with PanOxyl acne soap. However, it did reoccur and dried out his hair. On a whim I purchased a new shampoo on the market (like most sufferers, we have run the gauntlet of antibiotics, soaps, home remedies, etc). The shampoo is by John Freida and it is called Root Awakening - Purify and Nourish Shampoo. It cleanses the oily scalp but is kind on hair. After several weeks his spots have been GREATLY reduced - to the point where he was not embarrased to get a hair cut! It is no more expensive than any other shampoo and it is worth a shot. Good luck. Would love to know if it works for anyone else.

Probiotics   1  0   

Posted by Milli (Seattle, Wa) on 12/17/2011

[YEA]  I tried almost everything on this site for a case of folliculitis on my rear and one lump that appeared on my neck. I have had this issue for at least 6 months.

ACV did not work, or only worked temporarily. Drinking it, putting it on the skin, both no gos.

Bacitracin worked, but only a little better than the ACV. I also tried Nigerian black soap (little change). Hibiclens also same results. Vitamins didn't change anything.

Dr. Weil's site mentions this as an immune system disorder which may be aided by probiotics. I looked into IHerb dot com to see which had the best reviews, and that was Dr. Ohira's line. I have had great success with these. They come in 2 strengths, I got the lower strength because of cost.

The folliculitis has been subsiding for the 3 days that I've taken these and is almost completely gone - in addition, I also feel much better, with tons more energy. I had a problem feeling tired after every meal (no matter if it was high or low carb, junk food or healthy, raw or cooked) - also felt tired upon arising - that problem is now gone.

Posted by Samuel
Vitebsk, Belarus
I am a medical student, trying my best to come out one day and help people with solutions to diseases, but I have one problem too, I have been infected by folliculitis for the past 6 years on the scalp, mainly at the occipital region; they get inflammated very often, even after bedtime, I often find on my pillow, pinch of blood or pus! This has been very disturbing and discouraging in terms of my career. Indeed I need your help and advices urgently!
Posted by Shar
London, UK
I found the cure for folliculitus after years of searching. Mine are completely gone. It's called cupping, it removes all the blood clots in your body which causes infections and pain. They're usually 10-40 pound per session, I had 3 done and they were gone for months. Please try as I had mine for 6 years including during school. Now I can walk without a hat on, without trying to hide. They're all over the world. I promise you, you will never look elsewhere, doctors have no clue

Remedies Needed   1  0   

Posted by Silverss (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) on 08/24/2012

Hello I have had scalp folliculitis for over 5 years all the usual symptoms inflamed hair follicles with pus red skin and scarred spots. I've been on minomycin for a long time seems to keep the condition at a tolerable level but still not that good, condition is very embarrasing people always looking at the top of my head instead of my face lol, they think I've dyed my hair red until they get closer and see I've lost a bit of hair and scalp is mostly red. I'm sick of this condition as a guy its pretty emabrrasing I cant even imagine what it must be like for a female. I've tried most remedies some working for a few days then as usual it comes back even worse.

I've stopped using any kind of shampoo and now I use only GOAT SOAP which seems to settle it down between washes. I've come across this stuff called hemp seed oil which has seemed to be helping very much. I wish I could get my hands on some original rick simpsons hemp oil as im sure it could cure it completely.

I've also started using pawpaw ointment which seems to be helping also.

But right now im trying some sudocrem and going to see how this goes, its got zinc in it so they say it's good for healing skin and killing bacteria.

I'm going to try the rosemary soap and the turmeric next. I'm really sick and tired of this condtion sometimes I think the only cure to this curse is death.

Posted by Had
White River Jct, Vermont
53 Posts
Extra Virgin Coconut oil is anti- everything as well. I use it in my homemade shampoo (small amount) and also, when melted, rub into scalp and then wash in 1/2 hour or so. It's relief using it. You may need to look deeper for the chrinic infection that is feeding this problem in order to cure it. It's a symptom of a larger issue. But reguardless, the EVCO does give relief on contact.

Posted by Edward (Savannah, Ga) on 08/01/2012

I have had a chronic case of scalp folliculitis for over 3 years now coming and going, mostly coming, necessating several long. Over 4 month courses of Bactrim that simply keeps it at bay. The second I come off the Bactrim within 3 dys I have pimple like lesions all over my scalp and the dermatologist and infectious disease doctor don't know why it keeps recurring. They have tried to culture it several times with no avail, and they swear it looks bacterial only, not fungal. I have tried ketoconazole shampoo, sleson blue, Bactrim , Benzyl peroxide spot solution, but they are persistent. And the best Bactrim can do is rid most of the hot red bumps but there are small scabs left over that seem to reactivate the second I get off Bactrim. I have never tried vineger. Will this burn down layers of my scalp and help heal my folliculitis?? I appreciate any feedback. Topical colloidal silver seems interesting as well, any experience with this?

Posted by Ab (Hawally, Kuwait) on 09/24/2011

Hi , I get this folliculitis burst every time I get my face thread as I have loads of facial hair. This folliculits ends up as scars on my face, giving my face more darkened appearence, how to get rid of this folliculitis?

Posted by Informer
Paterson, New Jersey
Try using Grape Fruit oil. Also wash your hair every night.
Posted by Absa
27 Posts
thank you :) will try it out.

Posted by Tonya (Columbus, Oh) on 09/08/2011

I have had severe folliculitis since my gallbladder surgery in 2003. It is all over my abdomen, upper legs and now has shown up on my breasts. The pustules are red, sore and full of puss. I have been on antibiodics, special cleansers, diet, etc... NOTHING is working. The oral medications work, but only as long as I'm taking them. The miniute the medicine is over, it comes right back. What now? Anyone have any suggestions?

Posted by Santana
London, Uk
You people are amazing! I love you all, and if anyone wants to know why the internet is awesome, then this thread alone is why.

Ok so i'm gonna keep this short and sweet like a sweet pair of shorts! .... ehem...

My issue is on my scalp and started when I lost my job last year so it was possibly triggered by stress, it came it went, it calmed down, it flared up and during these times I would over analyse my actions/consumptions. Anyway its always been there its just a case of how bad but recently it came back and with a vengence!

I read this thread yesterday and the 2 things that seemed to work for a lot of people were the Apple Cider Vinegar ( £1.45 from waitrose for all my UK peoples) and Tumeric which I already have. Yesterday I came home from work had a bath and used the vinegar on my head, left it on for 10 mins and washed it off with normal shampoo. I also drank the Tumeric and used a clean T-shirt as my pillow case.

THIS MORNING THEY HAVE ALL GONE! My scalp is sooooooo itchy but theres no spots!!!! So im thinking of adding a T-GEL style shampoo to the mix to fix that side because I also have dandruff (i know im a catch right) and I will keep you all updated :)

Lastly I want to tell you the drink I made as I dont like Tumeric in water, I heated up half a cup of milk in the microwave, added a few cassia/cinnomon bark, a teaspoon of Tumeric and a teaspoon of Manuka honey, try it!

Posted by Gus
Amman, Jordan
Hey I have the exact same problem with recurring scalp folliculitis, im 22 yr old male. It is hideous, although I came across Turmeric which has been magical in keeping things under control to a certaing extent, but I still want to get rid of those damn pimples. I was wondering whether the apple cidar vinegar worked for you and whether you think T-gel is worth trying or is it a waste of effort? Thanks and best of luck.
Posted by Ronclark
Sanfran, Ca
Please use 10% benzoyl peroxide, it's usually in a face cleanser bottle. I use OXY---- I've been suffering from this problem for a long time and it has to do with diet too...I can go on and on about what I've done but that will take more time and if you're really interested, please reply back to this post as I check it often. But for now, change diet dramatically, if you have netflix, start wathcing some documentaires

- sick, fat & nearly dead

- Food Matters

- Gerson Miracle

- Forks over knives

I'm not listing these to make you veagan whatsoever, but can attest that I no longer eat meat. Use the 10% benzoyl peroxide on your head while in shower. Leave it in there for the duratino of your shower...don't worry it wont die your hair, I've been using for 6 months now and my hair dark brown. Now, GO!!

Posted by Jpatton
Md, US
[YEA]   This is the ultimate cure OXY 10% it's so creamy and can be used all over the scalp and other parts of body including face. I had dissecting scalp cellulitis and this help clear up my scalp 85% am not kidding. I have a small keloid on the back of my scalp been using ACV off and on. When I took a cotton pad with ACV on it I put in on the Keloid and it sucked out a lot of pus. Benzoyl peroxide is the best takes a while to get use to the dryness but It is the the Cure hands down. Wish it was not so expensive, and every time I go to walmart it's sold out. There you have it.

Sea Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree and Lavender Oils   1  0   

Posted by Kerri (Kingston, Canada) on 03/16/2008

[YEA]  Ah...the joy of folliculitis. I have had it so have some of the kids. The most painful is when it is on the bottom. It is like sitting on little shards of glass, even in the bathtub!!! I have had it ever since I could remember. I was an undiagnosed food allergy & contact allergy kid. Didn't get properly diagnosed till an adult. I also have chronic candidiasis (diagnosed around 11 years ago) and based on past history probably had it from the time I was an infant. So the folliculitis, for me, could have also been related to allergies &/or yeast. Then add to that my reactions to fabrics (aka my underwear!) and I am also VERY prone to strep. I was hospitalized & could have died from a serious cellulitis which was most likely strep related. The Dr. prescribed an prescription product for strep & staph & it did work, but I didn't really like using it....Ah Fucidin is what it was called, I think.

The last bout of folliculitis I did research on natural remedies and this is what we settled on. First we made a warm water solution of Himalayan sea salt (I am sure any sea salt should do) and wiped that over & beyond the area with the folliculitis. Then when it was dry we wiped over the area & beyond with apple cider vinegar. Finally dd put on tea tree oil & lavender oil (neat). She had it on her chest & face. We also get it on our bottoms & the tops of our upper thighs, chest & face. My original infection was probably folliculitis & then turned into the cellulitis. I had even been to the Dr. about it. Went into ER & they gave me meds, but I was getting worse (face & neck looked like I weighed 400lbs & I only really weigh 112lbs) finally they admitted me into a private room as they thought I might have a flesh eating disease or some other rare & contagious disease. For a little while they thought I had some rare form of lymph-node cancer. I was told to have my family &/or visit me (aka my parents, in-laws, etc.) in case I didn't survive. It was pretty scary & occurred when the twins were 18 months old!!

Oh...not trying to scare you!! I had folliculitis TONS of times before & since & that hasn't happened again. My immune system was way down, I was doing way too much & not sleeping enough or taking good enough care of myself. I think my body decided to give me a reality check & that is how my body sent the message!

My daughter (13) had it clear up well, but then new spots would crop up where she wasn't using anything so we basically had her do all of her face & all of her chest. It cleared up, but she had waited a couple of days to tell me thinking they were just "zits". She did get another "crop" of them, but put the above stuff on right away & they cleared up much more quickly & didn't spread. The other thing is to be aware that the bacteria that infected the hair follicles can also be spread onto the bath towel!! So you may want to wash & dry them after each bath. Also they can be spread by touching them, the bacteria then ends up on another part of the body.

Stress definitely is a contributing factor as well.

I did have dd take Vitamin C and get to bed early, etc. to boost her immune system.

So far it hasn't come back!!

Here is a web-site that lists the fucidin (I did have the right name!!)

This is cool. It mentions the complication of cellulitis. When I did research after my cellulitis, I didn't find much info. But that was 6 years ago & there is a LOT more info on the net now!!

Selsun Blue   1  0   

Posted by Thalia (Detroit, Michigan) on 07/03/2008

[YEA]  WOW! I has folliculitis on my thighs and on the sides of my calfs which is like hair bumps. I used the selsun blue on it and WALA! not completely gone but what an improvement. Its great stuff. And it also works for tinea versicolor overtime. I have already noticed a difference on my arms. I just hope I don't turn blue!! LOL

Posted by Mark
Albuquerque, New Mexico
So how long did it take to work? I took the medication for this condition for 10 days, used antibactierial soap and nada. It's in my abdominal area and of course ahem, lower area. I would imagine this irritating it? Perhaps worth a shot?

Shampoo   0  0   

Posted by Velcra (Brooklyn, New York) on 06/05/2014

My sixteen year old son has suffered half his life with this frustrating condition. I have posted here before having had good results with PanOxyl acne soap. However, it did reoccur and dried out his hair. On a whim I purchased a new shampoo on the market (like most sufferers, we have run the gauntlet of antibiotics, soaps, home remedies, etc). The shampoo is by John Freida and it is called Root Awakening - Purify and Nourish Shampoo. It cleanses the oily scalp but is kind on hair. After several weeks his spots have been GREATLY reduced - to the point where he was not embarrased to get a hair cut! It is no more expensive than any other shampoo and it is worth a shot. Good luck. Would love to know if it works for anyone else.

Shaving   1  0   

Posted by Joe (San Diego, CA) on 05/04/2014

[YEA]  I tried everything for folliculitus, even went to dermatologist. Only good thing is he told what I had after years of wondering. Tried antibiotic creams, onions, vinegar, blueberrys, lemon - only thing that worked for awhile was oral antibiotics, then it came back. Then after a flare up and meeting some new girl, don't want to wake up with her with this stuff on my face, o yeah I only got it under my lower lip area on chin. any hoot I read a article saying I should stop shaving that area when possible and a miracle happened it went away. woot woot please try hope it works for u no b.s.

Shaving, Rubbing Alcohol, Antibacterial Soap   1  0   

Posted by George (New York City, Ny) on 05/23/2011

[YEA]  I was prescribed medication (antibiotics and lotions) for my scalp foliculitis and they had the same effects described here: they would clear up the acne, but afterwards with time, they would lose their effect and the acne with come back worse than ever.

And so, one day I tried shaving my head. This is what works for me. I read though some reviews where shaving was not recommended. However this is what I do: I shave my head before taking a shower every day. Immediately after shaving, I apply alcohol with a cotton ball on the area affected. Then I take the shower and wash my scalp with antibacterial soap and afterwards with acid salicylic shampoo for acne.

As a small note, when you apply rubbing alcohol to your scalp after shaving, it really hurts because it's an infection after all, but you get relief for a day, and so it's well worth it.

Rubbing alchool is a sure way to kill the bacteria. Try it after you shave.

Posted by Shamilben
New York City, Ny
2 Posts
@ George from New York City....Hello there I hope you are having a good progress treating your folliculitis infection on your scalp. I am suffering the same fate as you and I am also from NYC. I was just wondering were you able to find a good dermatologist doctor or treatment that proven to help your situation. I am so discourage lately with doctors some just care how to make a quick buck on you and some just don't know what to do. It affects my everyday lifestyle, self-esteem and etc; you probable can relate to that to some degree. I hope you can share something with me that helped your situation. I hope all of us find some kind treatment that really works. Its weird people don't mention Stress as one of the major factors that might cause folliculitis. I hope you do reply. Thank you very much

Stop Shaving Arm Pits   2  0   

Posted by Jill (Punxsutawney, PA) on 01/11/2008

[YEA]  Quiting shaving cured my underarm folliculitis. I used to get terrible folliculitis when ever I would shave my underarms. Nothing helped. Then one day I asked myself why was I shaving? It's just a social convention, not a law, that women should have hairless underarms! So right then and there I stopped shaving. I haven't had a problem since. The next thing I did was to stop using deodorant or antiperspirant. Deodorants and antiperspirants work by suppressing the growth of underarm bacteria. When you stop using the products, you will get a "bloom" of bacteria as your body works to get back into balance. Just keep washing your underarms with soap and water as you normally would (every day), and in about 2 weeks you will have no more underarm odor because you have gotten back into balance. I know most people probably won't try what I am suggesting about not using deodorant, but it truely does work. The more we work to kill our normal body flora, the more they adapt to the poisons we use and the more virulent they become. After all they are fighting for their survival! Maybe its time for a little peaceful co-existance?

Posted by Jodi
Rochester, NY
Yes! i had the same problem with the underarm folliculitis but also on my legs as well. It was aweful! I stopped shaving and havent looked back. My legs are super soft and my arm pits couldnt be happier. My fiance doesnt mind.. he even gave up the deodorant with me, though I've since switched to a natural one by ___ -its a special detox one to remove chemical residue from old traditional sticks. More women should stop abusing their bodies in the name of "beauty". Natural is Gorgeous!
Posted by Dottywine
Rowlett, Tx, United States
2 Posts
[YEA]   Absolutely agree. Ever since I stopped shaving my armpits, I have not gotten any more bumps on my underarm (I also stopped using aluminum deodorant). I think it is a combination of what I did because every now and then I will shave and get a little bump, but not as terrible as they used to be. But, yes, the first step is to stop shaving. Instead, use an elipator or a cream or wax off hair.
Posted by Mrs. Dash
Toronto, Canada
Or you could just get laser hair removal. No hair = no folliculitis. I used to get really bad folliculitis/ boils from shaving my bikini line, so I just lasered it off. Now I don't have problems there. Lately, my skin has been really broken out on my inner thigh where I didn't get laser yet. I guess it is rubbing on my shorts and stuff. I'm just going to laser it too. Folliculitis is just so ugly and uncomfortable that it's worth the price to me. Plus - it makes your skin smooth and pretty and you don't have to shave any more.

Tazorac   0  0   

Posted by Scott (Boston, MA) on 10/15/2014

I have psuedofolliculitus on my face and neck, and am about to start using Tazorac along with pills. I am at my breaking point after almost 2 years of ingrown fair (white/clear casing) that infect the skin. They occur in certain areas, and are spreading. Enough is enough, so finally went to Mass General- after seeing 2 local dermatologists many times. Has Tazorac worked for anyone?

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