How To Get Rid of Scalp Folliculitis: What You Need To Know


Scalp folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles on the scalp. It may be due to a viral, bacterial or fungal infection.

Shaving, eczema, dermatitis, mite bites, and wearing very tight braids can also trigger folliculitis and lead to inflammation. You can experience deep or superficial folliculitis depending on the extent of the swelling.

Fortunately, there are a number of easy at-home remedies you can use to get rid of scalp folliculitis once and for all.

With more than 100,000 hair follicles on the scalp, there is a high chance that you can have scalp folliculitis at least once in your lifetime.

Unfortunately, those who experience severe scalp folliculitis can be left with bald patches and large crusty scars.

This article seeks to briefly highlight the types, symptoms, and diagnosis of the illness and then discuss the medical treatment and home remedies you can explore to get rid of scalp folliculitis entirely.

Types of Scalp Folliculitis

how to get rid of scalp folliculitis

Deep Folliculitis

The condition is characterized by the following:

  • Boils and Carbuncles – These outbreaks occur suddenly due to bacterial infection
  • Sycosis Barbae – Common in young adults who’ve just begun shaving
  • Eosinophilic Folliculitis – Especially common with persons living with chronic illnesses
  • Gram-negative Folliculitis – Prevalent in persons dealing with multiple medical issues

Superficial Folliculitis

The symptoms include:

  • Pseudofolliculitis Barbae – Occurs mostly in men who shave too close to the skin
  • Pityrosporum Folliculitis – Affects the back and chest. It is usually caused by a yeast infection leaving dark raised scars
  • Bacterial Folliculitis – This is the most common type caused by staph bacteria that naturally live on the skin, only causing problems when it enters through a cut or wound

General Scalp Folliculitis Symptoms

With Scalp Folliculitis, you should experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Red bump clusters or white-capped pimples appearing on the hair roots
  • Itchiness and a burning sensation on the scalp
  • Sore skin
  • Blisters oozing pus
  • Bald patches due to hair loss especially along the hairline

Medical Diagnosis

A physical examination of the affected area coupled with a review of your medical history is sufficient to diagnose scalp folliculitis.

However, on rare occasions, a skin biopsy may be needed. Keep in mind this website does not provide medical advice.

If you believe you are suffering from folliculitis of the scalp, talk to your doctor immediately.

Over-The-Counter Treatments For Scalp Folliculitis

There are several over-the-counter treatments that you can use to effectively clear the inflammation.

They include topical (fusidic acid gel, erythromycin, and mupirocin) and oral antibiotics (penicillin, tetracycline, and dicloxacillin), oral antihistamines, mild topical corticosteroids (clobetasone butyrate, triamcinolone), and oral isotretinoin.

Talk to your doctor about what they recommend and always follow their advice.

Home Remedies

If you want quick remedies that you can prepare at home, then here are a few options that you can utilize to help your body rid itself of scalp folliculitis.

Coconut Oil

how to get rid of scalp folliculitis

Coconut oil is the top most recommended home remedy for scalp folliculitis.

It’s anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and the antioxidant properties inherent in coconut will give guarantee you a clean, pain-free scalp.

Massage a few drops of the oil on the scalp on a daily basis until the inflammation clears.

Tea Tree Oil

how to get rid of scalp folliculitis

A natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, when used regularly, tea tree oil can completely clear the itchiness, redness and the inflammation.

Mix tea tree oil with olive oil or any other carrier oil and apply to the inflamed area. You may also use a cotton swab instead.

Do this every night before you go to bed.

Castor Oil

Castor oil relieves and soothes the pain associated with scalp folliculitis. Use a few drops of the oil to massage the affected area gently.

Repeat as many times as possible until the inflammation clears.

Neem Oil

Every night before you sleep, immerse a cotton ball in Neem oil and hold it firmly on the inflamed hair follicle using a band-aid.

Neem oil has both antiseptic and antifungal properties.

Remember one of the causes of scalp folliculitis is allergic reactions to oils and body creams. It is therefore advisable to do a patch test for all these remedies before using them.

The patch test will rule out any possibility of an allergic reaction that can worsen the inflammation.

Cucumber Paste

how to get rid of scalp folliculitis

Cucumbers have a cooling sensation that soothes the irritation and itchiness associated with the inflammation.

Grate cucumbers and make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area twice a day until your folliculitis clears up.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera moisturizes the skin, reduces any itchiness or burning sensation, maintains your skin’s PH balance and has potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Grind fresh Aloe Vera leaves to extract the gel. Apply the gel on the affected areas and let it stay for at least an hour.

To get rid of blackening patches, mix the extracted Aloe Vera gel with freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply to the inflamed follicles.


how to get rid of scalp folliculitis

Turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant containing Curcumin, which gives it anti-inflammatory properties.

It also has at least 20 fungicidal compounds important in fighting fungal infections. Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric with a little water to form a thick paste.

Apply to the affected area for several days until the symptoms subside. Alternatively, grind raw turmeric and apply it directly to the affected area.

Turmeric supplements in the form of capsules are also available over the counter.

Colloidal Silver

This solution contains submicroscopic silver particles in a colloidal base. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Just two drops of the solution applied to the affected area and covered with a bandage twice per day will clear the inflammation.

However prolonged use of this suspension can lead to internal organ problems since the solution can penetrate and deposit silver particles into the bloodstream.

Warm Compress

Warm compresses aid in blood circulation and therefore the healing process. They also help to reduce pain and irritation.

Dip a face towel in previously boiled and slightly cooled water. Place the sheet on the affected area and compress up to five times a day.

Rubbing Alcohol

This disinfectant will effectively soothe the itchiness and clear the inflammation. Immerse a cotton ball into 70% alcohol.

Rub the affected area and repeat for 4 consecutive days. You can minimize the amount of alcohol used to avoid getting dry skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar

how to get rid of scalp folliculitis

A daily drink of 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in warm water will relieve the itching and inflammation.

Make sure you wash the apple cider vinegar out of your hair once you are done bathing – leaving it in can lead to an undesired vinegar smell.

Looking For A More Powerful Treatment?

If you are looking for a more powerful treatment to deal with your scalp folliculitis, check out our articles on folliculitis antibiotic creams and the best over-the-counter treatments for folliculitis.

Both highlight a number of high-end antibiotics, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal treatment options including folliculitis shampoo and topical solutions.

In Conclusion

Although scalp folliculitis is not life-threatening, it can be challenging to treat. A combination of internal and external treatment is the answer on how to get rid of scalp folliculitis.

The external application of home remedies kills the germs causing the outbreak while the internal use will regulate the oil secretion of the hair follicles and help prevent scalp folliculitis from developing in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read our article on how to get rid of scalp folliculitis.