Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Folliculitis


Condition Basics

What is folliculitis?

Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection. Each hair on your body grows out of a tiny pouch called a follicle. You can have folliculitis on any part of your body that has hair.

What causes it?

It is usually caused by bacteria. It also can be caused by other things, such as an ingrown hair.

You may get folliculitis if you have damaged hair follicles. Shaving or wearing clothes that rub the skin can irritate the follicles. This makes them more likely to become infected.

You are more likely to get the condition if you:

  • Use a hot tub, whirlpool, or swimming pool that has untreated water.
  • Wear tight clothes.
  • Sweat a lot.
  • Shave or pluck your hair, especially if it's curly.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include pimple-like bumps. These may be reddish or have pus in them. The bumps can be tender and may itch. You can have folliculitis on any part of your body with hair. This includes the head, buttocks, and trunk. Depending on what caused the rash, you might have a mild fever and nausea.

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor will check your skin and ask about your health and activities. Testing a sample of the fluid in the bumps can help your doctor learn what is causing the infection.

How is folliculitis treated?

Mild folliculitis usually heals on its own in about 2 weeks. If it doesn't, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic or another medicine you put on your skin. If the folliculitis is from shaving, you may need to change how you shave.

How can you prevent it?

Here are some things you can do to prevent folliculitis or to keep it from getting worse.

  • Bathe or shower after you exercise and after you're near chemicals.
  • Wear loose clothing, especially if it's hot or humid outside. Change your shirt if it gets sweaty.
  • After you use public hot tubs or spas, shower right away with soap. If you own your own hot tub, follow the manufacturer's instructions for keeping it clean.
  • Use shaving cream and shave in the direction the hair grows. Rinse your razor after each swipe, and store it in a dry area. If you have folliculitis, try to avoid shaving for at least a few weeks.
  • Don't scratch the bumps.
  • Bathe or shower daily with a mild soap.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Acne Pilonidal Disease Boils Swollen Glands, Hernias, and Other Lumps Under the Skin

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details