What Is Folliculitis?

“ Folliculitis”

As women, we are concerned about keeping our skin beautiful and healthy. However, there are many conditions that stop us from feeling that way. You might have had what you call razor bumps; small red tender bumps with the appearance of pus or swelling surrounding your hair, and wondered what is this and why does it occur? That was my first thought when I begin to struggle with this condition as a teenage girl. Those razor bumps are actually called folliculitis. They can appear red, skin abscesses, and give you an overall feeling of unattractiveness. Don’t worry you aren’t the only one. I am still combating this condition today and I want to let other women know they are not alone.


What is it? 

Folliculitis is a common skin disorder affecting the hair follicles. According to Merck Manuals folliculitis are opus filled pockets in the skin. They may be superficial or deep, affecting just hair follicles or sometimes deeper structures within the skin. The first signs of this inflammatory condition are the appearance of red bumps each involving a hair follicle that is infected. This condition might be caught by persons of different ages from both young to old. Women who have this condition find it stressful and disturbing due to the signs and symptoms it produces.

Folliculitis appears on the skin, scalp, chest, and buttocks. In most cases, Folliculitis could be seen in healthy people. In women, it occurs on the bikini line and underarms, as what some call razor or bikini bumps. It tends to be prevalent in African American or ethnic skin due our hair being more curly or coarse. More African American men experience folliculitis with shaving.

The condition of Folliculitis could be mild or severe depending on what manner the person had acquired it. The condition may be treated with anti-bacterial treatment or taking antibiotics for the most severe cases.


Folliculitis is caused by bacteria, yeast or another type of fungus. One of the main reasons you might have Folliculitis is due to the damaged hair follicles. Clothes that are shaved or rubbed in the skin could damage the follicles causing it to be infected. Hair follicles could also be irritated due to makeup, machine oils, sweat, or other cosmetics being used.

Therefore, it would be good to be cautious in applying makeup and other irritating cosmetics to your skin. In doing so, you could have less of a chance of having Folliculitis. The condition may also be caused by the following:

•       Using a swimming pool that is not cleaned with chlorine

•       Wearing tight clothes

•       Using chemicals or substances that could damage hair follicles such as makeup, cosmetic products, and cleaning supplies

•       If you have a deep cut or wound where a bacteria or fungus could enter

•       If you have a disease such as diabetes or HIV that lowers your risk to = fight infection

Treatments or Solutions a Woman should make

As a woman who has a major folliculitis problem, I know the struggle of finding great healing solutions. Especially for women such as myself whom get awful hyperpigmentation from the folliculitis breakouts on my bikini line and underarms. Many women have the problem of curing folliculitis. However, if you would take immediate action, you might prevent the worse scenarios happening to you. The healing process takes over two weeks when you have a major breakout, but if you are at home and want to speed things up,  the following solutions could help you.

·       Make a warm compress

By soaking a towel in a warm water, gently apply towel on the affected area. This could prevent itching and sofen the pustules that develop.

·       Using a medicated shampoo

Research have proven that medicated shampoo could cure folliculitis. You may need this if you have severe folliculitis breakouts. Something with Benzoyl Peroxide in it will be great. I have used washes as part of my regimen in the past.

·       Lemon Juice

This is a natural approach that may work for your condition. I have not tested this one but have heard raves about it from others. Lemon Juice has anti-bacterial properties and many use as a source in lightening hyperpigmentation


·       Tea Tree Oil w/Aloe Vera Juice

This is another natural option to use on those razor bumps and breakouts. Just rub to the affected area after your nightly or morning shower?

      If the folliculitis keeps on coming back, it would be best to have laser hair removal to ensure you are cured and confident in a successful way. This is where I am at in treatment of this awful condition. I tried almost all the above minus the lemon juice for years. I use to switch between shaving and depilatory creams. Then I tried waxing for several years, and now I have begun treatment with laser hair removal. This has been the best option for me thus far. I will be writing soon about my journey with; folliculitis, laser hair removal, and hyperpigmentation. Stay tuned particularly if this is something you struggle with. I am on to a solution!


Have you ever had ingrown hairs or razor bumps? What has worked and what has failed?

Leave your answers in the comments!

Here are some additional items that could help tame the ingrown hairs and folliculitis