Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • recent history of immersion in spa water
  • darkly pigmented male with curly hair
  • recent ingestion of drugs known to be associated with folliculitis

Other diagnostic factors

  • recent history of shaving
  • umbilicated, flesh-coloured papules
  • papules on one side of the face in the submaxillary area
  • small, uniform papules and pustules
  • background erythema
  • alopecia/scalp scaling
  • erythematous plaques with haemorrhagic crusts in a dermatomal distribution

Risk factors

  • trauma, including shaving and extraction
  • occlusion
  • perspiration
  • topical corticosteroid preparations
  • systemic antibiotics
  • diabetes mellitus
  • immunosuppression
  • immersion in underchlorinated water
  • drugs

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • Gram stain
  • potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation
  • Tzanck smear
  • direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) assay
  • tissue culture
  • skin biopsy
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Clinical Research Fellow

Dermatology Department

Keck School of Medicine of USC

University of Southern California

Los Angeles

CA

Disclosures

NEC declares that she has no competing interests.

April W. Armstrong

Associate Dean, Clinical Research

Associate Professor of Dermatology

Keck School of Medicine of USC

University of Southern California

Los Angeles

CA

Disclosures

AWA has served as consultant for Abbvie, Amgen, Janssen, Merck, Eli Lilly, Novartis, and Pfizer; she has served as Investigator for Abbvie, Janssen, and Eli Lilly; and is a member of Speaker’s Bureau for Abbvie.

Dr April W. Armstrong would like to gratefully acknowledge Professor Howard Baden, a previous contributor to this monograph. HB declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Professor of Dermatology

Dean Emeritus

School of Medicine and Dentistry

University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill

NC

Disclosures

LG is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Logicalimages, Inc, which has print and electronic products for education and point-of-care; he has stock and stock options in that corporation. He is on the clinical and scientific advisory boards of Anacor Inc, which is developing anti-inflammatory and anti-infective products that are in early clinical trials; he receives payments and stock options for those services.

Head of Department

Department of Dermatology

St George Hospital

Conjoint Professor

University of New South Wales

Sydney

Australia

Disclosures

DFM declares that she has no competing interests.

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