Our skin has an amazing ability to protect us from the elements, heals its own wounds, and even grow our hair. But despite all the things going on, sometimes you will experience some skin problems for a while.
Do you have sore red bumps that look like pimples especially where you shave? You may have folliculitis, a common skin problem. In this article, we are happy to provide you some reliable information, reviews, and guides that will help you choose the best shampoo for folliculitis.
What is Folliculitis?
Folliculitis means an inflammation of the hair follicle. It is defined by the presence of inflammatory cells within the wall and lumen of a hair follicle. This condition may be due to infections, drugs, occlusion, or unknown etiologies. At first, it may look like small red bumps or white-headed pimples around hair follicles — the tiny pockets from which each hair grows
The classification of folliculitis can be made on the basis of the primary inflammatory cell, the nature of the underlying pathologic process, the temporal course, and the site of involvement along the length of the hair follicle.
Causes and Symptoms
Based on the article from Mayo Clinic, folliculitis is most often caused by an infection of the hair follicles with Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria. Folliculitis may also be caused by viruses, fungi and even an inflammation from ingrown hairs.
Follicles are densest on your scalp, and they occur everywhere on your body except your palms, soles, lips and mucous membranes.
Folliculitis signs and symptoms include:
- Clusters of small red bumps or white-headed pimples that develop around hair follicles
- Pus-filled blisters that break open and crust over
- Itchy, burning skin
- Painful, tender skin
- A large swollen bump or mass
Although folliculitis is not life-threatening, some complications may arise. These include:
- furunculosis – boils under the skin
- scars or dark patches
- permanent hair loss due to follicle damage
- recurrent follicle infections
- infections that spread to other areas
- cellulitis – infection of the skin
Types of folliculitis
The two main types of folliculitis are superficial and deep. The superficial type involves part of the follicle, and the deep type involves the entire follicle and is usually more severe.
Forms of superficial folliculitis include:
- Bacterial folliculitis. This common type is marked by itchy, white, pus-filled bumps. It occurs when hair follicles become infected with bacteria, usually Staphylococcus aureus (staph). Staph bacteria live on the skin all the time. But they generally cause problems only when they enter your body through a cut or other wound.
- Hot tub folliculitis (pseudomonas folliculitis). With this type, you may develop a rash of red, round, itchy bumps one to two days after exposure to the bacteria that causes it. Hot tub folliculitis is caused by pseudomonas bacteria, which is found in many places, including hot tubs and heated pools in which the chlorine and pH levels aren’t well-regulated.
- Razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae). This is a skin irritation caused by ingrown hairs. It mainly affects men with curly hair who shave too close and is most noticeable on the face and neck. People who get bikini waxes may develop barber’s itch in the groin area. This condition may leave dark raised scars (keloids).
- Pityrosporum (pit-ih-ROS-puh-rum) folliculitis. This type produces chronic, red, itchy pustules on the back and chest and sometimes on the neck, shoulders, upper arms and face. This type is caused by a yeast infection.
Forms of deep folliculitis include:
- Sycosis barbae. This type affects males who have begun to shave.
- Gram-negative folliculitis. This type sometimes develops if you’re receiving long-term antibiotic therapy for acne.
- Boils (furuncles) and carbuncles. These occur when hair follicles become deeply infected with staph bacteria. A boil usually appears suddenly as a painful pink or red bump. A carbuncle is a cluster of boils.
- Eosinophilic (e-o-sin-o-FILL-ik) folliculitis. This type mainly affects people with HIV/AIDS. Signs and symptoms include intense itching and recurring patches of bumps and pimples that form near hair follicles of the face and upper body. Once healed, the affected skin may be darker than your skin was previously (hyperpigmented). The cause of eosinophilic folliculitis isn’t known.
At-Home Remedies and Treatments
Mild cases of folliculitis often improve with home care. The following approaches may help relieve discomfort, speed healing and prevent an infection from spreading according to an article here in Mayo Clinic:
- Apply a warm, moist washcloth or compress. Do this several times a day to relieve discomfort and help the area drain, if needed. Moisten the compress with a saltwater solution (1 teaspoon of table salt in 2 cups of water).
- Apply over-the-counter antibiotics. Try various nonprescription infection-fighting gels, creams and washes.
- Apply soothing lotions. Try relieving itchy skin with a soothing lotion or an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.
- Clean the affected skin. Gently wash the infected skin twice a day with antibacterial soap. Use a clean washcloth and towel each time and don’t share your towels or washcloths. Use hot, soapy water to wash these items. And wash clothing that has touched the affected area.
- Protect the skin. If possible, stop shaving, as most cases of barber’s itch clear up a few weeks after you stop shaving.
- Creams or pills to control infection. For mild infections, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream, lotion or gel. Oral antibiotics aren’t routinely used for folliculitis. But for a severe or recurrent infection, your doctor may prescribe them.
- Creams, shampoos or pills to fight fungal infections. Antifungals are for infections caused by yeast rather than bacteria. Antibiotics aren’t helpful in treating this type.
- Creams or pills to reduce inflammation. If you have mild eosinophilic folliculitis, your doctor may suggest you try a steroid cream to ease the itching. If you have HIV/AIDS, you may see improvement in your eosinophilic folliculitis symptoms after antiretroviral therapy.
- Light therapy. According to some research, light therapy, or photodynamic therapy, can help improve symptoms of deep folliculitis. Light therapy is sometimes used to treat acne and uses both light and a chemical substance to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
- Lancing. Sometimes a doctor will drain a boil or carbuncle by making a small incision in the lesion to drain the pus. The aim is to reduce pain and encourage a faster recovery time.
- Laser hair removal. Laser therapy may help reduce folliculitis and cure the infection. It destroys the hair follicles so they cannot get inflamed or infected. Several treatments are usually necessary to see results.
Our Top Picks for the Best Shampoo for Folliculitis
#1. Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
Maple Holistics is dedicated to holistic beauty and wellness. Made with natural ingredients enhanced by 100% pure natural oils, we harness the healing powers of Mother Nature to bring you ultra-nourishing skincare, hair care and aromatherapy essential oils packed with youth-preserving vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
There is no way around it, the only way to get beautiful hair is to ensure your scalp is in peak and healthy condition. Hormones, genes, and environmental pollutants can wreak havoc on your scalp, causing dandruff, itchiness, and flakes Our shampoo helps put an end to scalp irritation. You’ll be left with naturally glossy and healthy-looking hair that will make you feel comfortable and oh so confident.
Thus, this shampoo relieves itching, flaking, oily scalp and irritation, great for antibacterial and antifungal properties fight dandruff. It also boosts circulation to promote healthy hair growth
mild enough for those with sensitive skin and color-treated hair
#2. Puriya Sulfate Free Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Flaky Dry Scalp
Puriya Scalp Clarifying Shampoo contains an advanced, proprietary blend of the highest quality botanical extracts of Arnica, Sage, and Rosemary along with the essential oil of Tea Tree work synergistically to purify, strengthen, and repair hair while gently moisturizing the scalp. It’s PH-balanced and gentle enough to use daily, and with regular use will help rejuvenate your scalp and hair.
This product is ideal for effectively reducing scalp dryness with powerful, plant-based moisturizers, moisturizing and nourishing dry or damaged hair, and removing build-up, excess oil, and other impurities to leave your hair looking and feeling healthy.
4 Reasons Why Puriya Scalp Clarifying Shampoo Is The Best:
- 100% proprietary botanical blend of high-quality ingredients that purify, strengthen & repair hair while gently hydrating and clarifying your scalp.
- No harmful chemicals such as sulfate, paraben, sodium chloride or synthetic fragrances- EVER!
- PH balanced and gentle enough for daily use to help rejuvenate your scalp and hair.
- Perfect for all hair types and ages, and perfect for the whole family!
#3. Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo for Oily Hair and Scalp
Our scalp balancing shampoo cleanses and clarifies by washing away excess oil and helping to regulate sebum levels, for fresh and voluminous tresses. Lemon oil rids your hair of grease, while rosemary and cypress, help prevent hair loss and soothe itching and flaking, keeping your scalp calm, and your hair full looking. Peach kernel and jojoba nourish strands, adding strength and elasticity, leaving your locks softer, stronger, and with incredible volume.
This clarifying shampoo helps control and rebalance a scalp that’s oily, itchy and flaky. Essential oils promote circulation and block DHT to help reduce hair fall. It removes hair dulling impurities to promote better volume and radiance. The gentle blend is suitable for all hair types, sensitive scalp, and color-treated hair.
#4. Baebody Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Dandruff, Dry Hair & Itchy Scalp
This Tea Tree Oil Shampoo helps rid the hair & scalp of impurities & restores natural luster. If you’ve got dandruff, dry hair or itchy scalp, this shampoo is just what you need! Tea Tree Oil is nature’s calming & healing agent, known for its cleaning properties. It’s an essential oil that aids in keeping your hair and scalp healthy, removing buildup & dandruff.
Across the brand’s line of hair & skin care products, they aim to help you look and feel fabulous with innovative natural ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol, argan oil, activated charcoal & tea tree oil. Because your hair, skin & body health comes before anyone else, their natural, safe and effective beauty products are cruelty-free, paraben-free & safe for most skin types.
#5. CLn Shampoo for Scalp Prone to Folliculitis, Dermatitis, Dandruff, Itchy and Flaky Scalp
CLn Shampoo was physician-developed to effectively and thoroughly cleanse normal-to-oily hair and scalps prone to itching or flaking that accompanies folliculitis (irritated hair follicles), dermatitis and dandruff, including dandruff of the beard.
Formulated with salicylic acid and sodium hypochlorite, CLn Shampoo removes unwanted oils, dead skin cells, and dulling residue and debris from pores.CLn Shampoo leaves nothing behind but healthy-looking hair and scalps. It is fragrance-free and contains no antibiotics, parabens or triclosan.
This is hypoallergenic and is designed to be used 1-3 times a week for scalps or beards needing special care.
#6. C2P Non-Comedogenic Hair Shampoo
As a paramedical esthetician, the founder of Clear 2 Perfection is all too familiar with the physical and emotional pain that breakouts cause. Too often consumers have no idea that many ingredients in their shampoo were sabotaging their corrective skincare efforts. Most shampoos and conditioners, even corrective skincare cleansers, have unknowingly many negative ingredients that can actually be causing the break out on your scalp back neck and shoulders forehead they are trying to avoid.
Most hair care products contain waxy, pore-blocking ingredients that actually exacerbate the breakouts you struggle to avoid. Clear 2 Perfection eschews those comedogenic ingredients, opting instead for an enzyme-rich formula to cleanse pores, reduce inflammation and nourish over-stressed hair. Mango, pumpkin and carrot suspensions deliver antioxidant healing, decongesting the hair follicles and inflamed scalp and skin, repairing and regenerating cells for a healthy, unblemished result.
This unique botanical blend shampoo features plant-based ingredients to restore your hair’s radiance while supporting blemish-free skin. C2P Nourishing Conditioner is the perfect companion to your corrective skincare regime
#7. TEENOLOGY Vanilla Almond Shampoo
TEENOLOGY helps you ‘Be in the Clear’ because their products do not include sulfates, parabens, and certain oils. Dermatologists identify these common hair product ingredients as causes of acne.
This shampoo is not only great for your hair, but for your skin too! TEENOLOGY sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoo is designed for daily use and all hair types, even color-treated hair. It gently cleanses and hydrates your hair without drying it out or weighing it down.
Additionally, TEENOLOGY scents are created by botanical extracts, which were specifically selected not only for their enticing aromas, but also for their hair, scalp, and skin benefits. You’ll feel good about using TEENOLOGY shampoo knowing that its unique formulation helps to avoid breakouts caused by ingredients in other products, including sulfates, parabens, and certain oils. Experience the Technology difference!
#8. Folicure Extra Shampoo
Do you have dry, damaged hair? This shampoo from Folicure contains super Swiss conditioner pantethine. It cleans and moisturizes dehydrated and messy hair. It does not strip your natural oils as it thoroughly cleans your scalp and hair without destroying your skin barrier.
For a shiny look, it imparts luster to your damaged hair. Also, if you have very thin hair, this shampoo makes a difference in the thickness and texture of your hair with continued use. So, if you have folliculitis, this shampoo may help you to be comfortable and avoid skin irritations.
#9. Selsun Blue Moisturizing with Aloe Dandruff Shampoo
This dandruff treatment with active ingredient aloe vera leaf juice provides much-needed moisture to dry, brittle hair while fighting dandruff & itchy scalps. Causes of dandruff include dry skin, oily skin, psoriasis, allergies, an overgrowth of the natural bacteria, Malassezia, & more. Use Selsun Blue Moisturizing Dandruff Shampoo to help fight the risk.
It is important to not simply wash away dandruff flakes but to treat the source that is irritating your scalp. Selsun Blue targets the scalp to help eliminate flakes and itch. Selsun Blue Medicated Dandruff Shampoos are pH balanced in order to lessen dandruff and scalp irritation.
The anti-dandruff shampoos work on dry hair, thin hair, thick hair, perms, color-treated hairstyles, blowouts, and more. Fight dandruff from allergies, dermatitis, and harsh shampoos using Selsun Blue Medicated Dandruff Shampoo, their Maximum Strength formula, and their daily use shampoo conditioner for healthier hair.
#10. The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo
Blended with potent ginger from Sri Lanka, birch bark, white willow extracts and Community Trade honey, The Body Shop’s iconic scalp care shampoo gently removes loose flakes and soothes the scalp.
Their Ginger Shampoo is made using ethically-sourced Ethiopian honey that will leave you buzzing with joy. It comes from the Unesco Sheka Forest Biosphere Reserve in Ethiopia, where African bees distill the nectar of rainforest flowers to create distinctive floral honey. To collect this precious honey, they work with ‘bee whisperers’ of Beza Mar, a group dedicated to improving the livelihood of Ethiopian beekeeping communities and maintaining their traditional, natural way of working with bees.
Refresh and soothe your scalp with this invigorating shampoo. Complete with ginger extract, birch bark extract, white willow bark extract, and Community Trade honey from Ethiopia. Massage into wet hair, rinse thoroughly and repeat as needed.
How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Folliculitis
As you can see in the market, there are countless options available there so you should be careful in choosing just any product. Below are the most important aspects to take into account.
- Ingredients: Consider the time to check the label and research the ingredients that are indicated in the shampoo. Ensure that they are natural and effective in your hair or scalp concern.
- Scent: This is essential because it will have a direct impact on how your hair will smell. For sure, you want your hair to smell fresh and fragrant even after a long day, so choose one with a scent that you will love. But you should choose shampoos that have natural extracts and essential oils than shampoos with synthetic fragrances on them. Natural extracts and essential oils are better in terms of providing your hair a wonderful scent without damaging it.
- Sustainability: When choosing a shampoo for folliculitis, you also have to make sure that it is appropriate for your hair type or concern. Because some shampoos are formulated for thick and curly hair. Some are for people who have a sensitive scalp. They also have shampoos that are specifically labeled for dry, fine, and frizzy hair, among others.
Have some questions about folliculitis? Here are the frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers that we found out there.
What are the risks of folliculitis?
If you have a severe infection, you may have scarring on your skin after it heals. Folliculitis may return, even after you are treated. Your hair follicles may be damaged and cause permanent hair loss.
How can I manage folliculitis?
Use warm compresses: Wet a washcloth with warm water and apply it to the infected skin area to help decrease pain and swelling. Warm compresses may also help drain pus and improve healing.
Clean the area: Use antibacterial soap to wash the affected area. Change your washcloths and towels every day.
Avoid shaving the area: If possible, do not shave areas that have folliculitis. If you must shave, use an electric razor or new blade every time you shave.
How can I prevent folliculitis?
Avoid sharing personal items. Do not share towels, soap, or any personal items with other people. Do not wear tight clothing: Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes that rub against and irritate your skin. Treat skin injuries right away: Treat injuries such as cuts and scrapes right away. Wash them with warm, soapy water, and cover the area to prevent infection.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
If you’re having a fever and you notice these symptoms such as foul-smelling pus coming from the bumps on your skin, and spreading rash.
When should I seek immediate care?
You develop large areas of red, warm, tender skin around the folliculitis, and boils.
Overall, folliculitis tends to be easily treated and curable skin condition. Often, it is a non contagious, self-limited condition. Rarely, more widespread folliculitis may be cosmetically disfiguring and psychologically distressing. If you are having this type of skin condition, here are the best shampoo for folliculitis.