Witch Hazel for Folliculitis

| Modified on Mar 18, 2024
Witch hazel can be used as a home treatment for folliculitis. Witch hazel can be found in pharmacies and grocery stores. It is pretty inexpensive. You can apply it to your affected skin with cotton balls. Alternately, you can put the witch hazel into a spray bottle and spray your folliculitis a few times a day or as convenient.

Witch hazel does contain alcohol. It may burn the skin upon application. If this is the case, follow up with castor oil or coconut oil. These two oils are also healing to folliculitis.

Have you tried witch hazel for folliculitis? We would love to hear your experience!

3 User Reviews

Posted by Rhebs (Washington, Dc) on 05/30/2013

Folliculitis: It's been years I think that I have it but not aware of it. How I got it? I don't know. I remember a pea size in pubic hair and my gyn gave me one big antibiotic for candida yeast and for years I did not have it until I had a caregiver for my mom who has it and that I contacted it again. It has been a couple of years that I have been suffering until I got into this witch hazel. It helped and cleared but I flared up again three weeks ago. I continue to dab the witch hazel and it helps. I am seeing a dermatologist next week and I want that candida antibiotic again. I will keep you informed. I want to help. Rhebs

Witch Hazel
Posted by Jr (Dallas, Tx) on 09/17/2009

Over the past few years I have been suffering from a mild to severe case of folliculitis of the scalp. The primary affected area was around the hairline just above the neck with a few additional patches on the sides and top. As most of you probably know folliculitis does have some kind of link with stress levels. When stress levels were high I would experience a flare up with numerous painful bumps. Having been two multiple dermatologists I had pretty much tried every treatment in the book ranging from anti-bacterial creams to corticosteroid based shampoos.

Once on a visit to my barber for a haircut he mantioned that another client of his had experienced success with witch hazel. I purchased a bottle (generic kind available at Walmart) rather half-heartedly and gave it a try. Every morning after a shower I would use a cotton ball and wipe down the area with the witch hazel solution. To my complete and pleasant surprise the bumps disappeared almost completely and have not returned even after I stopped using it.

I have since researched this and found out that a pure witch hazel extract may actually be better. The generic kind I purchased contains 14% isopropyl alcohol. I still have a few affected areas that I am going to try this on given the success I've had so far.

I sure hope this information helps somebody out there in their fight against folliculitis.

Replied by Tristano
(New York, Ny)

It sounds like many of us have Pityrosporum Folliculitis which is CAUSED or made WORSE by antibiotics. In that case you would need to take an anti-yeast pill prescribed by your doctor. This is what happened to me. The problem went away completely, after suffering for two years on all kinds of antibiotics. The problem did come back after I took antibiotics for a throat infection. Now I am on the antifungals again.

Replied by Boc
(Burbank, Ca)

I am 19 years old, I suffer from Folliculitis as well. First and foremost great thread really has helped. I was put on antibiotics which ended up giving me Hives. After stopping the antibiotics my condition worsened I believe mainly due to the fact that I popped one of the boils/ pimples.


2) Screw antibiotics they don't work as stated above.

3) I have been soaking my groin with a soaked cloth of White Vinegar put in the microwave for 20 seconds let it cool until it is cool enough to apply to skin. (The heat opens up your pores allowing the vinegar to enter) I began with a 50% dilutions of White vinegar and water and worked my way up to Pure White vinegar on cloth. I let it sit until it runs cold while I am out during the day etc, boxer briefs help keep it in place.

4) Vinegar does burn but if you have a good pain tolerance and can wait it out it helps, the burning sensation is letting you know that the bacteria is getting annihilated and move to the top of the skin, after a while the burn will go away.

5) I take a hot bath with added salt and apple cidar vinegar. Very soothing mix to your own liking the water doesn't need to turn too brown with how much vinegar you put in. The salt dries the skin under the water and the apple cidar vinegar attacks the bacteria.

6) Wash your towels constantly, or use paper towels to wipe your groin or infected area.

7) When I go to sleep at night I do another cloth of vinegar solution and put a heating pad on outside of my boxers, that way it keeps it hot throughout the night and to be honest feels very soothing.

8) I so far have executed 2 successful days of this and have almost gotten rid of all the boils and now they are back to the beginning pimple stages, however I am sure that the Turmeric I ordered in powder and pill for off Amazon will take care of the rest while I continue this treatment for myself.

To be honest the bath is bit overkill I do it because I want results fast and soaking for about 30 min or even and hour really does help. On average I soak my groin in Vinegar about 22hr's a day changing out the rag or cloth about 3-4 times a day. Which you can just soak it in hot water and ring it out and re-use. I will let you know how everything works out but my second day and my boils have gone from excruciating pain 100% to about 15% and the redness has almost gone. Now just these little pimples I have to knock out.

PS I understand if you have work cause I work in a very public place for a tv show, I just bite the bullet. Only 2 people mention about the vinegar smell and I told them its a remedy I am using for rash on my arms, which I wear long sleeves so its better than admitting the top portion of my groin is infected especially to the ladies, plus my gf understands and it doesn't stop us from having our fun. However you shouldn't be having close contact sex until your bumps go down and it doesn't hurt anymore. So far she hasn't caught anything. God speed to everyones speedy recovery! -BOC

Replied by Boc
(Burbank, Ca)

Update on day 3

1) yesterday was end of my 2nd day I decided to give vinegar a little rest my Turmeric came in mail and after about 3 glasses over the course of this 18 hours it has gone down more significantly. I still have some pains but overall I can feel my boils slowly dissipating.

2) I found that I no longer need to soak for the full 22 hours I now only do it at night while I sleep as stated above (post) with a heating pad over it. When I woke up in the middle of the night to check on progress of this treatment I noticed many white heads appearing near the boils which is actually a wonderful thing which means the vinegar cloth/ rag with a heating pad over it is pulling up the bacteria without having to pop anything.

3) after noticing this in the mirror at about 4 am I got a cotton ball and soaked it in rubbing alcohol and lightly cleaned the area. TO MY SURPRISE the white heads fell right off and a strong burning sensation came over the areas where they fell off and some minor blood. However I felt a lot better after wiping my whole groin area down aside from the burning. But as well all know that means it's just doing its job of cleaning the infection without me having to pop or burst anything so I was a happy camper and went back to sleep and put the rag back over with the heating pad.

4) I woke up for work at about 7am (3 hours later) and I noticed there was barely and white dots but very light scabs and the remaining white heads came right off with another alcohol cotton ball light rub. I preceded to take a shower and got out and applied some acne treatment ointment Generic brand doesn't matter what as long as it says acne or pimple cream or gel etc.

5) before I took off to work took another shot of Turmeric and took some powder (Turmeric) with me to have 2 more at work today. I will update again soon on my third day of my own treatment and so far the results are great. Still in pain when it comes to my loose boxers/ shorts but overall I just keep a positive outlook which is important and try to keep my stress level down. I also take vitamins everyday that you can buy from Trader Jo's and whenever my work orders lunch or breakfast I try to keep it on healthier side. Will update tomorrow morning and let you know how much more they have gone down. From the looks of this I may even be able to go to Disneyland this Saturday I AM EXCITED!

Replied by Rhebs
(Washington, Dc)

Hi as promised I am back after seeing my 4th dermatologist. The first, 2nd, and 3rd dermatologists' diagnosed as follicullitis, this 4th one, he had my skin biopsied and said I have atopic eczema. My case actually is a combination of the two, folliculitis on top of flared up eczema. Eczema is in the genes or heriditary and there is no cure but it is manageable. It can flare up by stress. He gave me a week of antibiotic, a tub of steroid cream to be applied 3x a day, atarax 3x but since I am working I take it before going to bed, cool quick shower (no hot shower), white dove soap, cerave lotion after shower. No perfume, avoid anti bacterial soap, makes skin dry and more itchy. He told me that I could eat anything... I got better but when I ate crabs and shrimps, I started to itch. These are the stuff I am avoiding: dogs and cats, chicken, some seafoods, also some canned soup, lavender soap, all perfumed lotion and soaps. I have my clothes washed in ALL soap for sensitive skin and dawn for softener anti allergenic. Right now I have some along the crown of my hair line and few spots on my arms. I dub it with witch hazel before going to bed and keep myself calm. Am scheduled to go back to my dermatologist in 6 months. I like this dermatologist of mine because he knows how to explain. He is a teaching Derm in Hopkins but have a private practice. I'll stick with him this time. At least, I wear my short sleeves blouses this summer. I have scars but I don't care. I stay away from the heat. I will continue to share my journey as I am trying to find cure for this CROSS of mine.

Replied by Sp
(Wb, Nj)

Hi Rhebs, steroid creams can give you a worse problem if used for more than one week. I know, I'm in my 21st month of recovery from using steroid creams for 3 1/2 years and I am still suffering from it. Please go to itsan.org (International Topical Steroid Addiction Network) or do a search for "topical steroid addiction" or "topical steroid withdrawal" and read up on it before you put any on your skin.

Replied by Lee

For years, I suffered with a folliculitis diagnosis. then, I saw a derm specializing in psoriasis after I had some really nasty things happening. I was biopsied in my genital area. turns out, I have a rare type of psoriasis called "inverse" or "flexural" psoriasis. its the opposite of normal psoriasis, in that it forms in moist areas where there is a lot of friction. I didnt actually have folliculitis, even though several dermatologists judged that I did. I would encourage you all to request biopsies if you are having these levels of problems. psoriasis is an immune disease and will not go away with many of these remedies. in fact, some of them will make it much worse. I know from experience. the hardest thing ive had to do is accept that nothing can completely cure my suffering. at least I know why though. dont just take a doctor's opinion- demand they test. I saw many primary care doctors and also many dermatologists before I found out what was truly the issue. I was convinced that I had a fungal infection because I had never even heard of inverse psoriasis. there are many other versions as well that are also rare, and could produce many of the symptoms I've seen on this folliculitis thread. please demand a biopsy and find out for sure what is going on.