How to Treat Folliculitis at Home

by Sarah Harding ; Updated July 18, 2017

Shaving and other hair removal methods can increase the risk of developing folliculitis.

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Folliculitis is a common skin ailment that many people have without realizing what it is. The Mayo Clinic says that it occurs when the follicle of the hair becomes infected with a bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus. The follicle of the hair is found at the base of the hair shaft and is responsible for producing cells to allow the hair to grow. Folliculitis can be itchy and appear like pimples. The infection usually resolves within a few days without treatment, but more stubborn cases may take longer.

Soap, Water and Hydrocortisone Treatment

Wet the affected area with warm water.

Apply a generous amount of antibacterial soap, whether liquid or from a bar, to the affected area.

Rub the soapy skin with a warm, wet wash cloth for 15 to 30 seconds. According to MotherNature.com, this helps exfoliate the dead skin cells that accumulate near the affected follicles.

Rinse the skin thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel.

Apply a thin layer of hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. This cream can relieve itching and inflammation.

Vinegar Compress

Mix 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts lukewarm water. Soak a clean cloth in the mixture and wring it out.

Place the cloth over the affected area for 20 minutes. MotherNature.com recommends repeating this method one to two times per day to help relieve folliculitis.

Follow the compress with a thin layer of hydrocortisone cream. The Mayo Clinic suggests an oatmeal lotion as an alternative to cortisone.


  • Avoid shaving or other hair-removal techniques until the folliculitis has resolved.

    Throw out disposable razors and change razor blades since these items can house the bacteria responsible for creating folliculitis.

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About the Author

Sarah Harding has written stacks of research articles dating back to 2000. She has consulted in various settings and taught courses focused on psychology. Her work has been published by ParentDish, Atkins and other clients. Harding holds a Master of Science in psychology from Capella University and is completing several certificates through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association.