How to Get Rid of Folliculitis

Last Modified on Jan 15, 2015

Multiple Remedies   4  0   

Posted by Lauren (Louisiana, US) on 08/09/2014

[YEA]  I browsed this site for help for an infected hair follicle on my knee and I found all this hype about apple cider vinegar so I made a concoction of ACV (1/4 cup), honey (2 tbsp), grapefruit seed extract (3 drops) and warm water (1/2 cup). Mix together then get a wash cloth and create a compress with the concoction and apply to affected area as much as you want. Make sure to leave the compress on until it cools. Everytime I felt extreme pain in the area, I would reheat the solution and repeat the process. The heat hurt at first but it brought such a relieving sensation about 5 seconds after. In addition, I drank a small cup of milk mixed with two tsp of turmeric. I started this process at 11 am and noticed by 11 at night, almost ALL the pain subsided and it's no longer swollen. I did the process about 4-5 times.

Posted by Jen (Mesa, Az) on 02/13/2013

[YEA]  I have been suffering from folliculitis for the last several months and finally figured out a few tips that have almost completely cleared up the bumps and are preventing the bumps from appearing nearly as often.

Use a natural Shea butter soap or oatmeal soap to both cleanse and sooth the skin.

Diet-nutrition has a lot to do with this disorder. I believe cutting out mainly gluten, dairy (except raw goats milk), and sugar has helped me. I also upped my water intake as well. Going on a raw food diet until the skin infection completely clears is a very good idea.

Oils- mixing jojoba oil with any of the following essential oils and using the concoction as a skin rub right after taking a bath: Lavender, tee tree, eucalyptus, and or geranium oil. Geranium and tea tree seem to be the most effective. Geranium isn't as pleasant smelling as the other are but works wonders.

Supplements- Garlic along with Echinacea tea work as natural antibiotics for the body, multi vitamins with zinc and magnesium, fish oil, vitamin D, and pro biotic(especially after taking a dose of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor to put the good bacteria back into your gut) either mild or plant derived preferably plant derived.

Don't cause any further abrasions on the skins surface- Stop using any type of sponges or washcloths in the shower as these will slightly tear the skins surface causing the infection to spread further and deeper. I found that using my hands to lightly massage soap into my skin works the best and doesn't spread the bacteria around to other parts of my body. Don't use cheap razors either, or if you can, stop shaving entirely for a while. Use expensive razors and replace them frequently and spray them off with alcohol before and after a shave. The expensive razors do not chaff the skin or break it as much as the cheaper razors. Also, many people will tell you to use a scrub on your skin, but, again a scrub will lightly tear the skin more and could cause the infection to continue to spread. Also, no matter how itchy your skin is do NOT scratch. Not scratching the skin will work wonders. Scratching only spreads it further and causes the bacteria to get under your nails. Put something calming on your skin the relieve itch, such as silver gel or Shea lotion or natural skin relieving oils. And whatever you do, don't pop the pus sacs, let them dry out on their own.

Bath soaks- Use Epsom salt and six to ten drops of your favorite essential oil and soak in a hot tub. Preferable cleanse the skin first.

Use a natural astringent on the skin before applying natural oils- Peroxide is the best. I say this because vinegar and alcohol are more irritating to the skin. Peroxide can be put into a spray bottle and sprayed on infected areas regularly, especially right when you get out of the shower. Let it sit for a few moments and then dry it off your skin or rinse it off in the shower. This will dry the pus sacs out quicker and help stop them from forming to begin with.

Clean bedding more often, cloths, and bathroom where you cleanse. Alcohol is a great cleaner mixed with water and tea tree oil, and kills staph which is a primary culprit for causing folliculitis.

Keep in mind that you must work on the outside of the skin and internally. These procedures must be used over a long period of time as in some cases folliculitis can be very tough to beat. Be persistent and consistent; keep using these techniques on a daily basis. The supplements work wonders along with the essential oils that help fight skin infections off.

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.

Replied 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.

Replied 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

Replied 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.

Replied by Velcra
Brooklyn, New York
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.

Potassium Carbonate   0  0   

Posted by Hdayanan (Bangalore, India) on 12/14/2014

I was reading thru Ted's recommendation of using Potassium Carbonate for treating hair folliculitis. How do you use this?

I bought one from a local chemist which says Potassium Carbonate Anhydrous and a warning stating not to make contact with body parts.

Ted has recommended this over Borax in one of the threads; can someone please give me some direction.

Kind regards

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.

Replied 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!
Replied 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

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

Replied 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.

Replied by Shamilben
New York City, Ny
@ 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?

Replied 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!
Replied by Dottywine
Rowlett, Tx, United States
[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.
Replied 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?

Tea Tree Oil   0  0   

Posted by Emie (Baltimore, MD) on 10/13/2008

[WORKED TEMPORARILY]  My 18 month old has been battling folliculitis for a month now. She's been treated with a topical and oral antibiotic with little success. I went to 2 different doctors and neither one tested her for MRSA because they said her pustules were not 'bad enough'. So I went to an herbalist who told me to give her Oil of Oregano but she refuses to ingest it (it's very strong and tastes horrible) so I use it topically mixed with olive oil. I use a tea tree mixture to clean the rash which seems to help but it keeps coming back. Anyone have any suggestions for herbal treatments that she might be able to tolerate? I'm going to try tumeric but I doubt I'll be able to get her to eat it even mixed with something.

Replied by Dr David Boersma
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Remedy tried - homoepathic remedy Calc Carb and Mezereum
Calc carb for children, cool, slightlt overweight, tend to get sweaty heads, feet, quite large for their age.
Use mezerem as well if there is itch and the Calc carb has not cleared on own.
Occasionally can use a mixture of homoepathic Silicea and Gunpowder to clear the skin.
Generally use low potency, 6 or 12c, but can go up to 30c, treat 1 pillule or 2 drops 3x daily.

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