Diagnosing Folliculitis

If you aren't sure what is causing your rash, it is always a good idea to see your doctor. Folliculitis rashes can often look like other problems. Your doctor will examine your skin, and in some cases, take samples to determine whether the cause is bacterial or fungal [source: WebMD].

Folliculitis Treatments

With words like "damaged follicles" and "infection," folliculitis can sound like a scary condition. However, in most cases, folliculitis is just irritating, and it causes no other problems. And typically, it's an easy condition to treat. In fact, mild folliculitis will heal on its own in about two weeks. If your irritation and pain is minor, you can simply wait for the rash to go away [source: Mayo Clinic]. To treat folliculitis, you can follow the steps listed below. If your case becomes more severe, you may need to take a more aggressive method of treatment.

To start out, you can use a hot, moist compress to help promote drainage of the follicles, allowing any built-up fluid to be released. The next step in healing folliculitis is to treat the cause of the infection by applying an antibiotic or antifungal cream to the infected area [source: Vorvick]. If your infection is mild and bacterial, an over-the-counter antibiotic cream should do the trick. If your folliculitis is on your scalp or face, medicated shampoos containing selenium sulfide or propylene glycol will be easier to use and just as effective [source: WebMD].

If your infection is more severe, you should see a doctor; he or she will likely prescribe an oral antibiotic [source: Vorvick]. Or if the infection is fungal, your doctor will need to prescribe antifungal pills such as fluconazole to clear up the rash [source: WebMD].

If folliculitis becomes a recurrent problem for you, there are more drastic treatment options. Laser hair removal will destroy the hair follicle and should help diminish the appearance of any scarring that may have occurred due to the folliculitis. Also, as no hair will grow in that follicle again, it reduces your chances of developing another case of folliculitis [source: WebMD]. Laser hair removal, however, is an expensive and sometimes painful option.

If you'd rather try to kick your case of folliculitis on your own, keep reading to learn some effective home remedies.