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Folliculitis may occur anywhere on the skin on our body, on the face or scalp.


After shaving sometimes one may notice small spots on the skin. This may be due to the infection of hair follicles, which is called folliculitis.

It may occur anywhere on the skin of one’s body, on the face or on the scalp. The lesions appear suddenly and they may be transmitted to other parts of our skin.

Irritation may appear around each hair follicle and blistering in the centre.

Hair follicle infection does not allow the development of hair, which is directed towards the hair follicle instead of growing normally towards the skin surface. It most often affects children, adolescents and young adults.

Inflammation may be caused by hairs trapped in the skin after shaving in various parts of the body, so attention should be paid or shaving in certain areas of the body should be completely avoided. Staphylococcus, a microbe that already exists in the skin becomes pathogenic, resulting in the appearance of a mild erythema or cyst.

Hair follicle inflammation usually subsides on its own. However, if severe inflammation develops, it may lead to permanent hair loss and scars.

There are two types of folliculitis, superficial and deep folliculitis. In superficial folliculitis inflammation appears around the hair follicle with one or more small follicular pustules. In deep folliculitis one or more painful, firm or fluctuant, red nodules with pus.

People with acne vulgaris receiving antibiotic medication may develop folliculitis due to Gram-negative bacteria. In more rare cases, bacterial folliculitis may be caused by pseudomonas in immunocompromised individuals.

Other causes include certain viruses, such as herpes simplex, syphilis and rarely parasites, poor body hygiene, shaving and injuries in areas with increased levels of hair growth (beard, armpits and thighs), tight clothing, tropical climates and intense humidity, as well as the frequent use of topical cortisone preparations, the systemic administration of antibiotics and diabetes mellitus. 


A large mass of swelling or pus-filled blisters that break creating a crust. Itching or tenderness. Dense groups of small, red stimuli around hair follicles. Pain occurs often and there is a possibility of scarring after the infection.

In most cases folliculitis lasts for 2-3 days and no treatment is required as the infection resolves on its own. 

Management & treatment 

Careful dermatological examination shall comprise of an assessment of the grade and the type of folliculitis, the individual’s skin type and the various lesions that occur.

A major problem is the identification of the cause making folliculitis to persist, as well as the use of cosmetics, cleansers, and sunscreens, according to each individual patient’s skin type.

It can be treated successfully through photodynamic therapy and the individualised approach for each patient’s condition (mild, moderate, severe folliculitis). 

The natural method of Photodynamic Therapy

The natural method of photodynamic therapy includes targeting both the follicles and inflammation with clear light containing no UVA & UVB radiation, which is responsible for the lesions of folliculitis.

The local increase in temperature due to the thermal energy of light leads to the destruction of the bacteria containing a natural substance, namely coproporphyrin III, which reacts with the light and produces reactive oxygen species, leading to the elimination of bacteria.

Key advantages of this method:

  • It does not interfere with daily activities
  • No pain
  • It is a non-invasive method

About the author:

Christofer Tzermias

Specialised in the UK (Oxford & London) and in North America (New York & San Diego) in the field of LASER Dermatology, Dr Tzermias, has been providing dermatological state-of-the-art treatments using cutting-edge LASER and Energy based Devices for over 20 years. He has been Director of Interventional and LASER Dermatology Department at the Athens Medical Center for over 18 years and for the last 9 years is the Scientific Director of IQ - Intensive Quality Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Clinics, which at the 2017 Healthcare Awards won the ‘Innovation Award for Innovative Services’ for their pioneering contributions. Since 2018, IQ Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Clinics has also been operating in London, UK and in Muscat, Oman. Dr Tzermias is a Fellow of the world-renowned American Society for LASER Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), a Founder Member of the European Society LASER Dermatology (ESLD), the Vice President of the ‘Open Health Alliance’ and he is also on the Board of Directors of Elitour - Greek Medical Tourism Council.

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