Natural Remedies for Folliculitis

| Modified on Dec 05, 2022
Epsom Salt Poultices
Posted by David Simons, M.D. (Boulder, Co 80302) on 04/29/2017 2 posts

Recurrent Staphylococcal Folliculitis and early superficial wound infections (presumably staphylococcal)

The probability is that any person such as myself who gets occasional occurrences of of these conditions is probably a so-called carrier of staphylococcus aureus which means that these bacteria tend to colonize some part of their body surface. The most commonly studied area for this condition has been the mucosa of the anterior nose and it has been well shown that a full course of oral antibiotics for such organisms can be transiently successful but is followed by recurrent colonization in the anterior nose within 1 to 3 months of treatment. This is the so-called carrier state. Inasmuch it is not permanently curable some interest has been shown in the management of people who are staph carriers. The problem in medical research is that most interest for study is often directed at prescription medications.

Treatments which are nonprescription are rarely studied. Such is the case with magnesium sulfate which is otherwise known as Epsom salt.

Personal experience with spraying the skin surface with Listerine mouthwash solution and then applying a dusting of powdered Epsom salts followed by massaging this into the area of where Listerine has been applied on a once daily basis usually results in resolution of folliculitis within 3 to 7 days.

For what it is worth, I have personally had numerous small skin injuries which have resulted in redness and swelling around such injuries within 1 to 3 days. Traditional prescription treatment of this situation is with oral antibiotics. As a nonprescription alternative I have found that a poultice comprised of a gauze pad covered with aquaphor ointment and then dusted with powdered Epsom salts applied to the wound area on a daily basis as a dressing usually results in decreased redness and swelling around the area of the wound within 3-5 days and if continued usually results in total resolution and wound healing. It is well-known that ointment such as Vaseline or Aquaphor are agents which can successfully transfer into the skin, almost any substance which is mixed with these agents. This makes the use of these agents on gauze or non-adherents wound dressings a reasonable medium with which to apply the Epsom salts to an infected wound area.

I have been unable to find any scientific studies of the use of Epsom salts in the early management of wound infection but based on personal experience feel that it is a subject worthy of study.

Inasmuch as it is nonprescription, it will probably never receive financial backing for formal study.

Posted by Neil (Devon, England) on 07/07/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Ivermectin for folliculitis

Had a rash on my abdomen and chest for many weeks. Diagnosed as folliculitis by GP. Prescribed fucibet cream but that made it worse. GP then prescribed doxycycline which I never took as you can't even go in the sunshine when on that. Tried loads of soaps, acv, eurax etc. Nothing worked. Naturopath friend advised a single dose of Ivermectin 0.2mg per kg of your weight. Gone in 3 days.

Baking Soda + Tea Tree Oil Bath
Posted by Kaylee (Wash) on 06/27/2022
5 out of 5 stars

I was having a reoccurring yeast infection so I began taking bath every evening I would add the following to my bath water 1 Cup of baking soda, a few drops of essential oil, I used tea tree oil (started with five drops because tea tree oil is very strong) I also add 2 or 3 drops of pine needle oil. I noticed that my folliculitis began to be going away, by the first week and by the second week it was all gone and my skin became super soft and smooth.

Epsom Salt Poultices
Posted by Dave (Fountan Inn, Sc) on 04/30/2017

Hello Dr. Simons;

This was a very helpful article as I use poultice solution applications and recommend the same often. First, your article helped in again affirming my high opinion of magnesium sulfate and in application as a "dusting" on top of the target area. Second, your suggestion of Vaseline or aquaphor ointment which would act as a carrier...I have only used DMSO cream/liquid as a carrier (usually of colloidal silver). So, thank you for your non prescription recommendations.

Epsom Salt Poultices
Posted by David Simons (Boulder Colorado) on 04/30/2017 2 posts

As an additional note, Epsom salts/Magnesium sulfate is sold in a granular form that interferes with its use in poultices in that the granules are too large. The best way I have found to process Epsom salts granules is to use a rotating blade single speed Krups coffee grinder to convert the granules into a fine powder. It is easiest to spread this on gauze or nonadherent pads covered in Aquaphor or Vaseline by putting a small amount of the Epsom salts powder in a small strainer and gently shake it over the Vaseline to dust it with the powder. The dry backside of this dressing can then be placed on the sticky midsection of a wide piece of paper tape for bandaging, leaving the sticky tape exposed beyond the borders of the dressing. This bandage/poultice can then be pressed in place over the infected small wound, pressing the sticky paper tape borders on to normal skin for attachment.

This type of dressing should be replaced at least once daily.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric
Posted by Joe (Sydney) on 09/17/2016
5 out of 5 stars

H.i I was diagnosed about 2 weeks ago that I have Folliculitis Decalvans, the dermatologist gave me prescription for Rifampin 300mg twice a day and Clindamycin 300mg twice a day for 8 weeks. After purchasing the medication I did some research as I knew taking this much antibiotics for that period of time was not going to be good for my health, and reading that in some cases the bacteria came back more aggressive. I came across earth clinic site last week and I am at day 3 drinking turmeric 2 times a day and before I shower I have massaging apple cider vinegar on my scalp.

Day 3 - my scalp has almost no redness left and only 2 small pimples today. Before this my scalp was red and full of blisters and lumps, and now they are 95% gone.

My wife who has been really looking at it day in and day out is shocked with the results.

Not sure if this will last working so well or if I made the mistake and not getting on the antibiotic asap but so far so good.

The turmeric gives me a slight tummy pain but nothing really. My head is at 95% if I can keep it at this level I can live with it. Should I have jumped on the antibiotics?

Epsom Salt Poultices
Posted by James R (Sydney) on 11/04/2020

I tried literally everything. The only thing that worked and has continued to keep my butt, thighs and lower abdomen clear of bumps and boils is a daily product that contain 12% lactic acid.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric
Posted by Mary (NY, NY) on 09/08/2022

You could also try a teaspoon of coconut oil in the AM and PM. It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Raw garlic is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. My husband's eczema cleared up when we started eating more fruits and vegetables and quality protein like canned wild alaskan salmon, free range chicken and grass fed beef. A good multi vitamin is beneficial. I focus on broccoli, sweet potatoes, almonds, bananas, avocados, ground flax seeds and good oils like grapeseed oil and olive oil.

Rubbing Alcohol
Posted by Lynne (Wa., US) on 01/08/2015

Are you still taking the magnesium? Or now only using rubbing alcohol?

ACV and White Vinegar
Posted by Julia (Surrey, Uk) on 11/15/2015
3 out of 5 stars

Worked Temporarily

Yes, vinegar is great for helping to clear the skin, but even this does not seem to last and I keep having to rotate treatments as the infection seems to become resistant to things. Garlic is also great, I boil some up or use bought cream, and put it on at night and cover it over, then wash everything next morning. Bicarb is also great, just dampen the powder and smear it on. SO many things really, that reduce the PH or anything that fights fungus helps, like various essential oils, and coconut. I found that all the creams given to me by docs were useless, but anti fungal foot powder works (I use it on trunk of body, tummy and back mostly) as it is dry instead of creamy. If I get too hot it gets much worse, but powders help keep it dry.

Manuka Honey
Posted by A. (ottawa) on 10/12/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Manuka Honey for Folliculitis

Manuka Honey(16 factor) works well to eliminate folliculitis. It can be applied to pus filled and broken skin when apple cider would be too painful. Apply twice a day and cover with gauze/cotton and surgical tape.

Epsom Salt Poultices
Posted by Julie (Seattle) on 05/28/2022

This is very interesting. I'm losing my hair and my scalp is sometimes so itchy that I can't sleep. I wonder if it's magnesium-related. I've been taking the diuretic furosemide (which depletes magnesium) and suffering from muscle cramps as well. Will be adding magnesium and see if it (and the ACV/turmeric) clear it up. Thank you!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric
Posted by Eileen (Harrisonburg, Va) on 10/06/2016

No, It will return as soon as the course is finished. Better to use natural ingredients. 😀

Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric
Posted by Karthikeyan (San Francisco) on 10/09/2016


Thanks for sharing the information. Like to know, have your taken turmeric powder or used root in juices? Also how much qty have you taken.

Thanks, Karthik

Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric
Posted by Ziga (Indonesia) on 09/07/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Two years ago in 2020, I was diagnosed with folliculitis by the dermatologist. Initially, the infection only affected my chest hair with red bumps and were so itchy. After a few months, it spread to my pubic hair and also beard hair. It became so bad to the point that one of my beard area and hair area stopped growing due to the inflammation.

To be honest with you guys, I still have this condition today. I tried various antibiotics including doxycycline, cefixime, azithromycin, meiact and many more. Some of them helped to treat the condition, but it reoccurred again after it finished. Topical cream antibiotics helped to cool the skin temporarily, but it would get red and itchy again once I stop applying the cream.

After that experience, my hope almost became 0 as no skin doctor out there could actually cure me. I came across this website today and really enjoyed reading people's reviews. I am leaving this comment to keep you guys updated as I will try the 'ACV' and 'turmeric' remedy to update you guys on whether it worked for me. Hopefully we will be cured from this infection. Stay strong my friends, God will help us all. Amin.

General Feedback
Posted by Bats (Perth, Wa) on 06/05/2013

Cured - after 12 years I've actually found something that works. After referral to a skin specialist, his conclusion was that is was definitely folliculitis, BUT that there was NO KNOWN cure for it. It was probably caused by a bacteria, given that there was some response to antibiotics and that I could have a test to find out which one. I declined this, as knowing what it was wouldn't actually help any.

He prescribed some anti acne medication, but I never used the prescription, as it was over $100. He also suggested I try Selsun Gold shampoo. As it's actually an anti dandruff shampoo (I don't have dandruff) I guess that there is an anti-bacterial componenet that also kills the bacteria that causes my problem.

I started using Selsun once every 2-4 days using other shampoos in between (I shampoo at least once a day, due to strenuous outdoor work & gym visits). There was a marked improvement.

I now use it pretty much daily and the problem has gone completely. It remains to be seen if this is a long-term cure.

Antibiotics Connection
Posted by Julia (Surrey, Uk) on 11/15/2015

Yes, antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your gut and it desperately needs help to rebalance again, with probiotics, fermented foods etc, otherwise the immune system becomes innefective against these skin issues.

All the doctors I have seen, and also the dermatologist they finally referred me to, basically did not believe me about the infection moving. I found if I applied helpful remedies then it would come out nearby, fight back by moving. Also if a larger lump that looked like a mole was rubbed to break it down little by little, infection would spread from it. Only my pathologist/haematologist who is helping with my immune system is helpful. All the others treat my like I am an idiot, basically tell my that what I tell them is impossible and prescribe things that make it worse, then wonder why I don't believe them when they try to tell me they are harmless things. My skin used to be perfect before this, then the infection developed in many different types of manifestations, from hard mole like things to pimply things to blotches varying from red to brown slightly raised ones, to white flat areas.

I have always had a defective immune system apparently (neutropenia) and that seems to be why I have succumbed to this, but now I am having injections to boost it, and that seems to be starting to make a difference, though early days yet. I used to have many bronchial infections as a kid but as I grew up and learnt healing, I was able to keep myself clear. However, now that I am post menopausal I have been having difficulties again, so my specialist and I decided it is time to boost the immune system through weekly injections.

The immune system tends to struggle more as you age due to levels of various other things declining in the body, and although I would prefer to stay with natural products only, it seems unfair of me to go on expecting my body to cope as it has done for quite a while now trying to fight off skin issues. I want to regain my strength and vitality, which although I have been eating really really healthily (I'm a nutritional therapist), still flags too much to be able to cope well with all the work I do.

Cutting down on sugar is really important as these kind of infections do feed on it.

ACV and White Vinegar
Posted by Dee (Denver, Colorado) on 12/21/2012

I have tried everything the only thing that works for a long period of time is acid water, its up to u how much acid to have in your solution. Keep oil away from the affected area and shampo often to open pores and drain pus. White Vinegar will clear up scars and also gives relief but acid water is the best.

ACV and White Vinegar
Posted by Pam Crabtree (Ohio) on 06/28/2016

Try colloidal silver with turmeric. That's the only thing that help me my immune system, which is compromised from R.A. Plus my iron level is low.