Whenever the hair follicles become inflamed with either bacterial or fungal infections then you will experience a skin condition called folliculitis. It appears as red bumps or white-headed pimples around the hair follicles. The infection spreads and turns into non-healing sores on the skin.
However, this health condition is not life-threatening but it can be itchy, painful and embarrassing on the skin. Make sure to consult your doctor if you experience more serious or recurring folliculitis for proper diagnose, treatment and medications.
There are two main types of folliculitis – superficial (involves part of the follicle) and deep (involves the entire follicle) in which deep folliculitis are severe form.
Forms of superficial folliculitis include bacterial folliculitis (caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria), hot tub or Pseudomonas folliculitis (caused by Pseudomonas bacteria that develop a rash of red round and itchy bumps), razor bumps or pseudofolliculitis barbae (skin irritation caused by ingrown hair affects mostly men on the face, neck and groin areas of the skin) and pityrosporum folliculitis (caused by yeast infection that occurs as red itchy pustules on the neck, chest, back, upper arms and face).
Forms of deep folliculitis include boils or furuncles and carbuncles (caused when the hair follicles become deeply infected with staph bacteria), gram-negative folliculitis (develops as a side effect for taking long-term antibiotic therapy for acne), sycosis barbae (affects makes who have begun to shave), eosinophilic folliculitis (caused to the people with HIV/AIDS that has intense itching and recurring patches of bumps).
The signs and symptoms of folliculitis include clusters of small red bumps around the hair follicles, itching, burning sensation in and around the bumps, painful and tender skin, pus-filled blisters, swollen bumps, etc.
This folliculitis is caused by bacteria, fungi, virus or even an inflammation from the ingrown hairs. It occurs anywhere on the body where there is a friction except the soles, palms, lips and mucous membranes. It will go away on its own within 1 – 2 weeks but severe forms of infections can result in permanent hair loss and scarring.
Having medical condition (diabetes, HIV/AIDS, chronic leukemia), skin problems (acne or dermatitis), certain medications (steroid creams or long-term antibiotic therapy), male with curly hair, soaking in a uncleaned hot tub, shaving or waxing, wearing tight clothes, etc. are some causes for folliculitis.
Instead of using commercial cosmetic creams and OTC medications, why not give a trial to natural home remedies that effectively works to clear the problem without causing any side effects to the skin.
Home Remedies for Folliculitis:
Here are the simple yet effective remedies that provide relief from the folliculitis and its symptoms by accelerating the skin healing process.
Let’s get started…
Remedy – 1: (Warm Compress)
The first step you need to take while suffering from folliculitis is to apply warm compress. Applying warm compress on the affected area will help to calm down the irritation and reduces your pain. This will help to increase the circulation to the affected areas and thereby aids in quick healing of the skin.
- Pour 1 teaspoon of salt in a pot filled with 2 cups of water.
- Boil it for few minutes and wait till the water gets to lukewarm temperature.
- Then soak a soft towel in this water and wring out to remove excess water.
- Now place this warm, moist towel on the folliculitis affected area.
- Leave it for about 10 minutes and repeat the process once again.
- Continue doing the same cycle for 3 – 5 times daily until you get relief from these painful cysts.
Remedy – 2: (Turmeric)
Turmeric has an excellent compound called curcumin that exhibits antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to fight against the staph bacteria and other microbes causing folliculitis along with relieving your pain and itching.
Here are few ways of using turmeric for treating folliculitis.
- Pour enough olive oil (or melted coconut oil) in 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir well to make it a fine paste and apply this paste on the folliculitis affected areas. Leave it on for about an hour or two and then rinse the turmeric affected skin areas with water. Dry the area gently and repeat the same process for 2 – 3 times daily until you get complete relief from the problem.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 glass of warm milk and consume this turmeric milk drink for twice daily to strengthen your immunity and enhance healing process from inside the body.
- Also, consume turmeric in supplement form but make sure to consult your doctor for proper dosage before taking these supplements.
- When you observe the boil is on the head and about to burst then you have to apply a poultice to the cyst to prevent the spread of infection and to promote healing. Simply mix a pinch of turmeric and flour in some warm oil till it forms a thick paste. Apply this paste on the cotton or gauze and place it directly on the boil. Leave for overnight to burst and in the morning, clean and dress your wound.
Remedy – 3: (Tea Tree Oil)
Tea tree oil is another effective remedy that treats different skin disorders, including folliculitis. It has excellent antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to clear the infection quickly and also reduces the itching, redness, inflammation, and irritation.
Here are few ways of using tea tree oil for clearing folliculitis.
- Add 5 – 6 drops of tea tree oil in 2 – 3 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Stir well and use it to massage on the affected skin area. Wait for 1 – 2 hours and wash off with water. Repeat it once daily until you get rid of folliculitis and its symptoms.
- Moisten a cotton swab and pour 1 – 2 drops of tea tree oil to it and dab it gently on the folliculitis affected skin areas. Let it sit for an hour and rinse it with cool water. Dry the area gently and repeat this application twice daily until you notice the folliculitis gets disappeared completely from the skin.
- For treating scalp folliculitis, use tea tree oil based shampoo to prevent the infection and its recurrence. Simply pour few drops of tea tree oil in your regularly used mild shampoo and use it to rinse your hair.
Note: Never ever use tea tree oil directly on the affected skin without diluting it, as it causes irritation and itching sensation on the skin. If you’re first time user then make sure to perform a skin patch test before using it to know the possibility of getting an allergic reaction.
Remedy – 4: (Vinegar)
Vinegar is another inexpensive and effective natural remedy for treating folliculitis. You can use either white or apple cider vinegar for clearing this folliculitis. Vinegar exhibits antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that fight off the microbes causing infection.
It also helps to clear itching, pain, and inflammation and enhance the healing process to get rid of folliculitis quickly.
Here are few ways of using vinegar for folliculitis.
- Mix 1 part of organic, unfiltered ACV with 2 parts of lukewarm water and stir well. Apply it on the skin affected areas by using a cotton ball. Wait for 10 minutes and rinse off with water. Dry the skin and apply coconut oil to moisturize the area. Do it daily to get quick relief from folliculitis.
- For internal purpose, mix 1 – 2 teaspoons of ACV in 1 glass of lukewarm water and drink it 1 – 2 times daily to strengthen your immunity and heal the folliculitis affected skin.
- If using white vinegar, then soak a cotton ball in a white vinegar solution (1 tablespoon white vinegar in 2 cups of water) and apply it on the cysts. Press the ball firmly on the affected and leave it for 20 minutes. Repeat the same action for twice daily until you get relief from folliculitis (especially superficial one).
Remedy – 5: (Indian Lilac)
Indian lilac (neem) is an ancient Ayurvedic medicine for treating various health, skin and beauty problems with its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. For treating folliculitis, neem works as a strong antibacterial agent that destroys the harmful bacteria causing folliculitis.
Neem has another excellent property of easing certain symptoms like pain, itching, burning sensation, and inflammation. Here are few ways of using neem for folliculitis.
- Take a handful of fresh neem leaves and grind it into a paste. Apply this paste on the cysts affected areas of the skin and wait for at least 30 minutes to rinse off the skin. Dry the skin and repeat it few times daily to prevent the infection and its spread to other skin parts.
- Pour few neem leaves in water and boil it for few minutes until the water quantity has reduced to 1/3 and turn off the heat. Use this neem water to rinse the folliculitis affected skin areas for few times daily.
- Add few drops of neem oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and apply it on the affected skin areas. Let it sit for about 15 – 20 minutes and wash it off with water. Dry the skin and repeat it 2 – 3 times daily.
Remedy – 6: (Garlic)
Garlic exhibits antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that help to fight against the microbes causing infection. The rich content of sulphur (allicin) in garlic will help to prevent various skin disorders, including folliculitis.
- Take a garlic clove and cut it in half.
- Place the clove directly on the skin and you may experience burning sensation after applying garlic clove on the affected skin areas.
- Or simply apply a crushed garlic clove on the affected skin areas.
- Let it sit for few minutes and take out the cloves and rinse the area with cold water.
- Alternatively, consume raw garlic as a part of your diet or use garlic pills to cleanse and disinfect the body to get rid of the problem.
Remedy – 7: (Aloe Vera)
Aloe vera exhibits antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve your burning and itching sensations along with clearing the bacterial action on the skin. it helps a lot in moisturizing the skin and maintains pH balance for a faster healing.
Here are few ways of using aloe vera for folliculitis.
- Take an aloe leaf and cut it to open and remove the gel. Apply this fresh aloe gel on the skin affected areas and let it sit for an hour. After that, rinse off with water and do the same for twice daily for a week.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon and mix it in 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel. Stir well and apply it on the folliculitis affected skin areas. Leave it for 30 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Do it once daily for about a week to get relief from folliculitis.
Remedy – 8: (Colloidal Silver)
Colloidal silver is another effective remedy that fights against the bacteria, fungi and other microbes causing the infection. It works immediately by dealing with the root cause of the problem.
- For external use, simply apply 2 – 3 drops of colloidal silver on the affected areas of the skin and cover it with a bandage. Repeat the same process for twice daily.
- Mix 1 – 2 teaspoons of colloidal silver in 1 glass of water and consume it twice daily. Prefer to drink it on an empty stomach. Continue this internal intake for a month to destroy the harmful bacteria and other germs within the body to get relief from folliculitis.
Remedy – 9: (Oregano Oil)
Oil of oregano contains potent compounds called terpenes and carvacrol that exhibit antibacterial property which used to fight against the bacteria and other microbes causing the infection. It has thymol compound that has natural fungicide and antiseptic properties.
It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that aid in faster recovery and gives you complete relief from the problem.
Here are few ways of using oregano oil for folliculitis.
- Add 8 – 10 drops of oregano oil in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir well and apply it on the affected areas. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours and then rinse the area with lukewarm water. Dry the area gently and continue this application for 2 – 4 times daily till you noticed relief from this folliculitis.
- For internal intake – Pour 2 to 4 drop of oregano oil in 1 glass of water. Stir well and drink it to get rid of the cysts. Drink it twice daily for quick relief from the problem. Remember that pregnant or nursing women should not ingest oregano oil, as it causes some side effects on their health.
Remedy – 10: (Rubbing Alcohol)
The disinfectant properties of rubbing alcohol will treat the folliculitis by promoting the healing process and thereby clears the infection. It has soothing and cooling properties that help to relieve your discomforting symptoms like itching, irritation, pain, and swelling.
- Take a cotton swab and soak it in rubbing alcohol (contains 70% strength).
- Dab it gently on the affected areas and wait for 10 minutes.
- After that, rinse the area with lukewarm water.
- Continue doing the same process for twice daily until 3 – 4 days to get relief from the problem.
Note: Over usage of rubbing alcohol will result in skin dryness and worsen the problem.
Remedy – 11: (Thyme)
Thyme is a popular Italian seasoning herb that not only used to add flavor to the dish but also used as an herbal medicine. It contains a chemical compound called thymol that clears the staphylococcus infection on the skin’s surface.
- Add few drops of lavender oil and an equal amount of thyme oil and bergamot oil in clean water.
- Stir well and apply this mix on the affected areas.
- Let it sit for few minutes and rinse the area with water.
- Reapply this mix for 2 – 3 times daily for 6 days to notice the complete removal of this problem.
Remedy – 12: (Goldenseal)
Goldenseal, when taken internally, will help to fight off the infection and clear the symptoms like pain, swelling and helps to burst out the cyst for a faster recovery with its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.
Here are few ways of using goldenseal for treating folliculitis.
- Boil few goldenseal leaves in water for few minutes till it becomes concoction and strain it to drink it warm for getting relief from the Staphylococcus aureus folliculitis.
- Make a paste by mixing powdered goldenseal and water and apply this paste directly on the affected skin areas. Cover the area with a clean bandage and leave it for overnight. Remove the bandage in the next morning and clean the area. Repeat it regularly.
Note: Just like goldenseal, drink honeysuckle concoction to clear the bacteria and repeat it until you get relief from the problem.
Tips and Precautions:
- Using African black soap which has natural healing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, palm oil, cocoa and vitamin E that helps to keep the affected area well moisturized. It also helps to give relief from pain, itching, and inflammation. Use it as a soap or shampoo regularly to get rid of the problem.
- For severe forms of folliculitis, use over the counter antibiotics that available in gel or cream form other than using these remedies.
- Avoid shaving while suffering from this infection and if you what to shave then use an electric razor. Make sure to shave it in the direction of the hair growth.
- Avoid the usage of public hot tubs or heated pools, as they may or may not be cleaned regularly and may contain contaminated water.
- Don’t wear tight clothes why because they cause friction and may result in the formation of cysts and worsen the problem. So, always wear loose fitting clothes to avoid friction or rub against the body.
- Take your bath or shower daily with a mild soap (or antibacterial soap), especially after your workouts and working around the chemicals will help to keep your skin clean and prevent clogging of hair follicles and spreading of folliculitis on the skin.
- Frequently wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection and to get rid of the problem quickly. Also, clean the boil affected area with antibacterial soap to clean and dress the boils but be sure to avoid touching the affected areas.
- Overuse of makeup or skin oils will clog the skin pores and thereby trap the bacteria to cause folliculitis. So, avoid the usage of this skin oils or makeup and clean your skin frequently to get rid of dust, dirt, other impurities and the excess oil clogging the skin pores.
- Avoid getting into contact with any irritating substance that causes irritation to your boils and worsens the infection.
- Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids to stay hydrated and to flush out the toxins from the body. It also helps to stimulate the immune system to prevent infection.
- Don’t share your personal belonging like towels, washcloths, combs, water bottles, etc. to anyone while suffering from infection to prevent its spread.
- Always change your bed sheets and wash them in hot water to prevent the spread of infection or bacterial action.
- Scratching your bumps will worsen the infection and makes you feel pain. So, avoid scratching them.
- Use other natural remedies like oatmeal (anti-itching and skin soothing properties), coconut oil (antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties along with skin moisturizing), witch hazel (anti-itching and anti-inflammatory), etc. to treat folliculitis.
Use all these home remedies to get relief from folliculitis and its symptoms but make sure to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment, if suffering from severe form of folliculitis.
Do you know any other successful natural remedies for folliculitis? Then share your experience with us in the below comments box.