Folliculitis (overview) L73/ L01/

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Folliculitis; Hair follicle inflammation; Sycosis

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Purulent or non-purulent inflammation of the hair follicle.

On the one hand, folliculitides are differentiated according to the stage and acuteity of the follicular inflammation; on the other hand, the clinical picture is decisively influenced by the affected body region. A very superficial folliculitis is called ostiofolliculitis. In the case of deep folliculitis (folliculitis profunda-furuncle/carbuncle) there is a risk of follicle destruction and spread of the inflammation to the surrounding area (purulent perifolliculitis).

Folliculitis can be of bacterial, mycotic or parasitic origin (the most common pathogens are Staphylococcus aureus, more rarely gram-negative germs, dermatophytes, Candida species or Demodex folliculorum).

Non-purulent folliculitides occur in chronic cornification disorders of the hair follicle (follicular keratoses) or in hair growth disorders, furthermore as drug reactions or vitamin deficiencies.

In a number of follicular inflammations (e.g. pustular eosinophilic folliculitis) the cause is completely unknown.

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In the present overview, follicular-associated inflammations are listed, some of which are referred to as "folliculitis" or "folliculitis", but also under other terms that do not suggest a connection to folliculitis. The diseases of the "acne vulgaris complex" are not listed. Folliculitis can also be divided according to the level on which it occurs, into superficial and deep folliculitis.

I. Infectious folliculitis

  1. Fungal
  2. Bacterial
  3. Viral
    • Herpes simplex Folliculitis
  4. Parasites

II. follicular cornification/hair growth disorders

III. chemical/physical induced folliculitis

  1. Drugs
  2. External irritants
    • Tar and oil acne
    • Shave folliculitis (shaving - lower leg - induced mechanical folliculitis)

IV. Idiopathic folliculitis

V. Other folliculitides

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According to the individual clinical pictures.

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  1. Laureano AC et al (2014) Facial bacterial infections: folliculitis. Clin Dermatol 32:711-714
  2. Sardana K (2014) Follicular disorders of the face. Clin Dermatol 32:839-872
  3. Vañó-Galván S et al (2015) Folliculitis decalvans: a multicentre review of 82 patients. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol doi: 10.1111/jdv.12993.


Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020