How Long Does Folliculitis Last?

by Jay Kang | Posted on January 29th, 2023

Have you recently developed an itchy, red rash on your skin? If so, you may be dealing with a condition known as folliculitis.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how long folliculitis can last and what treatments are available.

Detail of man's chin with seborrheic dermatitis in the beard area

How Long Does Folliculitis Last?

Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles and can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Mild folliculitis usually clears up on its own within two weeks with proper self-care.

Symptoms of mild folliculitides, such as Pseudomonas folliculitis, usually fade within a few days without medical treatment. More serious or repeat infections may require prescription medication.

If the inflammation worsens or does not go away, it is important to see a doctor to receive proper treatment. With basic self-care and treatment, mild folliculitis will usually heal without scarring.

What is Folliculitis?

Folliculitis is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become inflamed. It can be caused by various factors, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and irritation or blockage of the hair follicles. Symptoms of folliculitis include itching, redness, and bumps or blisters.

Mild cases may resolve independently in a few days with basic self-care, while more severe or recurrent infections may require prescription medications. Understanding the different types of folliculitis and their associated treatments is important to properly identify and address this condition.

Types of Folliculitis

There are many types of folliculitis, ranging from mild to severe. Common forms include Pseudomonas folliculitis (hot tub rash), Pityrosporum folliculitis (malassezia folliculitis), and bacterial folliculitis. Mild folliculitis usually heals independently, but more severe or recurring infections may require prescription medications.

Folliculitis Inflammatory glands or inflammatory follicles

Symptoms of Folliculitis

Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles that can cause several symptoms, depending on the type and severity of the condition.

Common symptoms may include rashes, itching, mild redness or swelling around the affected area, small pimple-like bumps filled with pus, and pain or tenderness in the affected area. Fever, chills, and fatigue can sometimes accompany this skin inflammation.

See a doctor if any of these symptoms develop to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Causes of Folliculitis

Folliculitis can be caused by various factors, including infection, environmental irritants, and even physical trauma to the skin. Bacteria such as staphylococci, pseudomonas aeruginosa, and propionibacterium acnes can cause folliculitis when infecting hair follicles.

Environmental irritants such as chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs can also lead to folliculitis. In addition, physical trauma to the skin from shaving or other activities can introduce bacteria into the hair follicles and lead to infection.

If left untreated, folliculitis can become more serious and cause scarring or permanent hair loss. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any symptoms of folliculitis.

Diagnosis of Folliculitis

When diagnosing folliculitis, a doctor will take into account the patient’s medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also take a sample of the boil or lesions to test for bacterial or fungal infections.

Sample analysis may reveal the presence of bacteria or fungi that can cause folliculitis. Sometimes, they may order imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans to determine if any underlying medical conditions contribute to the folliculitis.

It is important to note that mild cases of folliculitis do not usually require any treatment. Still, severe cases may require antibiotics or other medications to help clear up the infection.

Mild Folliculitis Treatment

Mild folliculitis can be treated with basic self-care. This includes keeping the affected area clean and dry, avoiding friction or tight clothing, and avoiding hot tubs and pools until the infection has healed.

Antibiotic creams, ointments, or oral antibiotics may be prescribed if the infection is more serious or persistent. In addition, topical corticosteroids may be used to reduce redness and swelling. If dark marks remain after the rash has healed, laser treatments can be used to reduce their appearance.

With proper treatment, mild folliculitis will heal without scarring in a few days.

Severe Folliculitis Treatment

Severe folliculitis may require a prescription-strength topical or oral medication. These medications can include antibiotics, antifungals, or antimicrobials. Your doctor may also prescribe a topical steroid cream to reduce inflammation.

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking any medications, as they can help you heal faster and reduce your risk of recurrence. You should also practice good hygiene and keep the area clean and dry to help speed up healing.

Purulent rashes on the neck of a man. Allergy, acne. Skin diseases

Pseudomonas Folliculitis Treatment

Pseudomonas folliculitis is an infection caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It typically presents an itchy, red, and bumpy rash with pus-filled blisters around hair follicles.

Treatment for Pseudomonas folliculitis usually consists of antibiotics taken orally or applied topically. In most cases, the infection clears up in two to ten days without medical treatment. However, it is important to check with your healthcare provider if you believe you may have this type of folliculitis to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Pityrosporum Folliculitis Treatment

Pityrosporum folliculitis treatment is typically done with oral antifungal medications. These medications effectively clear up the condition, with most patients seeing results within a few weeks of starting treatment.

Topical antifungals can also be used, but they are not as effective as oral medications. For more severe cases, a physician may recommend three sessions of treatment at two-week intervals and an assessment one month following the last treatment. There are minimal side effects associated with these treatments, and they are generally safe and well-tolerated by most patients.

Preventing Folliculitis

Preventing folliculitis starts with basic hygiene and skin care. Keeping the skin clean and dry and avoiding tight clothing can help reduce the risk of infection. It’s also important to avoid sharing items like towels and razors that touch the skin.

Furthermore, it can be helpful to avoid swimming in hot tubs or other public pools that may contain bacteria. If you have any existing skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, or eczema, ensure they are under control with proper treatment. Treatment of underlying conditions can also help prevent folliculitis from developing or recurring.


In conclusion, folliculitis is a common skin condition that can affect one or many hair follicles and may last from a few days to several weeks. Mild folliculitis can typically be treated at home with over-the-counter remedies; however, more severe cases may require medical intervention. To prevent a recurrence, it is important to practice good hygiene, avoid abrasive clothing and clothing materials, and change out wet clothing as soon as possible. If you suspect you have folliculitis, it is important to contact your physician for further evaluation and treatment.

Jay Kang

Just because i'm asian does not mean I don't need shaving. I always wanted to grow a beard when I was young, now I need to shave because hair growth for me is a problem. I'm going through what every man will and has gone through before.