Scalp Folliculitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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scalp folliculitisIs your scalp constantly itchy, burning, or painful? If you have small pimple-like bumps, you may have scalp folliculitis. This hair follicle condition requires treatment as it can lead to scarring and irreversible hair loss. We will look at how the hair follicles become affected and how to get rid of scalp folliculitis.

Scalp folliculitis results when the hair follicle becomes inflamed, and possibly infected in some cases. Several factors can lead to this type of damage to the scalp and follicles. The severity of the condition can lead to bacterial infection, Staphylococcus. The key to preventing scalp folliculitis hair loss is early detection and treatment. Let’s learn the signs and causes.

Scalp Folliculitis Causes and Symptoms

This disturbing condition is primarily the result of a bacterial, yeast, or other fungal infection. Scalp folliculitis can develop when the hair becomes damaged or when the follicles are irritated by sweat.

Your hair follicles are at risk with the following situations:

  • Using hair products that may block or irritate follicles
  • Using an untreated swimming pool, whirlpool, or hot tub
  • Having an infected cut or wound near or on the head
  • Having a health condition such as diabetes or HIV

Scalp folliculitis symptoms are easy to distinguish, as the red bumps will look like pimples and be located anywhere on the scalp. There may be a burning and itchy sensation, and possibly mild to moderate pain. Folliculitis can damage the follicle to the point where bald patches can appear on the head. This hair loss can be permanent with scarring of the follicle.

Home Remedies to Treat Scalp Folliculitis

There are folliculitis scalp home remedies that call for natural and pure products. We will touch on the most commonly used treatments.

1. Hot Compress

The heat from a hot compress will tackle any discomfort and itch resulting from scalp folliculitis. Dip a cloth in hot water and apply it to the affected areas. You can add a dash of salt to the water as well.

Leave the cloth on the follicles for 20 minutes, or until it becomes cooled before starting the process again. Continue to repeat this treatment three to four times each day until the itchiness is gone.

2. Aloe Vera

The gel of an aloe vera plant can quickly soothe any itchiness and heal the pimple-like openings at the base of the follicles. Apply the gel directly to the affected follicles and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing. Repeat the treatment three times each day during the healing process.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Many of you may be familiar with the popular use of tea tree oil on the scalp for destroying and preventing head lice. It is also an effective scalp folliculitis treatment. The oil has antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral components to destroy the invaders causing the inflammation and infection, as well as alleviate any itchiness.

Apply drops of the tea tree oil directly onto the scalp, or add a few drops to your favorite shampoo. Repeat this treatment on a regular basis until the folliculitis is clear.

4. Castor Oil

Another form of oil treatment uses castor oil to combat the inflammation and any pain that accompanies scalp folliculitis. You can directly apply a few drops of the oil onto the scalp and massage it into the entire head for several minutes before rinsing. Repeat this treatment until the follicles are completely healed.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties to heal scalp folliculitis symptoms quickly. Use pure coconut oil on the scalp several times each day for the best results. Massage the entire scalp gently for several minutes.

6. Cucumber

The cooling sensation of cucumber can help soothe the irritation and itchiness created by scalp folliculitis. Simply grind a cucumber into a paste and apply it to the affected areas. It can alleviate pain, as it helps to dissolve the barrier of the pimple-like bumps.

7. Garlic

You may use garlic to treat various types of ailments and symptoms, but did you know it can have a powerful effect on inflammation of the scalp? Use the juice of garlic cloves directly on the pimple-like bumps for best results. Apply it to the affected areas as needed.

8. Vinegar

A scalp folliculitis treatment using vinegar can be done alone or added to the hot compress treatment. Simply add one tablespoon of vinegar and four tablespoons of hot water. Apply this vinegar solution to the areas, and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. As with the hot compress, repeat the vinegar treatment three times daily.

9. Turmeric

The curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help heal scalp folliculitis quickly. Use turmeric powder directly on the pimple-like bumps.

10. Neem

Neem is useful for various hair ailments, including inflammation of hair follicles. Boil several neem leaves in two liters of water to create a cleansing solution. Wash your hair with this solution daily until the folliculitis is gone.

Dealing with scalp folliculitis can be an annoying and embarrassing process. The condition can be even more daunting if caused by a wound infection, or as a result of a serious health condition such as diabetes.

Home remedies using natural products can help with treating the folliculitis itself, as well as any accompanying symptoms of pain and itchiness. Early treatment of scalp folliculitis can help prevent the spread of the condition, as well as possibly treat and prevent hair loss.

Related Articles:

Cross, C., “What are the Treatments for Folliculitis on the Scalp? ” Livestrong, October 25, 2013;, last accessed April 27, 2017.
“Folliculitis – Topic Overview,” WebMD;, last accessed April 27, 2017.