• Danya Reich
  • Corinna Eleni Psomadakis
  • Bobby Buka


A young, physically active male presented to Primary Care with scattered pruritic papules and pustules on his upper and lower extremities, and on his torso. The lesions were diagnosed as folliculitis, a common bacterial infection of the pilosebaceous unit. Folliculitis has several infective and non-infective causes, the most common of which is Staphylococcus aureus bacterial folliculitis. Treatment of folliculitis depends on its cause, severity, and history of recurrence. A culture swab should be taken in order to identify the pathogen, and empirical treatment may be initiated until the results are available. Common bacterial folliculitis may be treated with topical antibiotics, and oral antibiotics may be added for more severe or unresponsive cases. Prophylactic treatment with antibacterial body wash may be useful for individuals who have a history of recurrence.


Folliculitis Bacterial folliculitis Pilosebaceous unit Hair follicle Staphylococcus aureas Pseudomonas aeruginosa Hot tub folliculitis Topical antibiotic Oral antibiotic Mupirocin 


  1. 1.
    Laureano AC, Schwartz RA, Cohen PJ. Facial bacterial infections: folliculitis. Clin Dermatol. 2014;32(6):711–4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kelly EW, Magilner D. Chapter 147. Soft tissue infections. In: Tintinalli JE, Stapczynski J, Ma O, Cline DM, Cydulka RK, Meckler GD, editors. Tintinalli’s emergency medicine: a comprehensive study guide. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011. Available from: Accessed 24 Feb 2015.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Luelmo-Aguilar J, Santandreu MS. Folliculitis: recognition and management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2004;5(5):301–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Durdu M, Ilkit M. First step in the differential diagnosis of folliculitis: cytology. Crit Rev Microbiol. 2013;39(1):9–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Berger TG. Dermatologic disorders. In: Papadakis MA, McPhee SJ, Rabow MW, editors. Current medical diagnosis & treatment 2015. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2014. Available from: Accessed 24 Feb 2015.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Liu C, Bayer A, Cosgrove SE, Daum RS, Fridkin SK, Gorwitz RJ, Kaplan SL, Karchmer AW, Levine DP, Murray BE, J Rybak M, Talan DA, Chambers HF, Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clinical practice guidelines by the infectious diseases society of America for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in adults and children. Clin Infect Dis. 2011;52(3):e18–55.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danya Reich
    • 1
  • Corinna Eleni Psomadakis
    • 2
  • Bobby Buka
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineMount Sinai School of Medicine Attending Mount Sinai Doctors/Beth Israel Medical Group-WilliamsburgBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.School of Medicine Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations