Folliculitis is an infection of the scalp most commonly associated with visits to the hot tub or the barbershop. It causes clusters of small red pimples that can be both itchy and painful. In severe cases folliculitis has been known to cause scarring and even the loss of hair. With certain cases of folliculitis, antibiotics tend to work well, but not so with all.
For some cases of folliculitis, such as staphylococcal folliculitis and pseudomonas folliculitis, use of an antibiotic (like a mild anti-itch cream) taken topically can relieve the itching, redness and pain that goes along with the infection until the folliculitis has had a chance to clear up.
Oftentimes, when a case of folliculitis isn't improving through the use of a topical or oral antibiotic, the doctor may prescribe acne medication. Acne medications like Retin-A have been proven to be effective in eradicating certain forms of folliculitis like pseudofolliculitis barbae.
Some forms of folliculitis, such as pityrosporum folliculitis or herpetic folliculitis, not only don't respond to antibiotic treatment, the use of an antibiotic can make the infection worse. With pityrosporum, the use of an antibiotic will actually exacerbate the problem by causing a disequilibrium in the skin oil content of the patient's scalp.
Types of Antibiotic Creams.
Generally, folliculitis falls in to the less severe categories and is easily treated with antibiotic creams. When this is the case, you can see your doctor and he will normally prescribe something like bacitracin, polysporin or bactroban.
Types of Antibiotic Oral Medications
If a cream isn't doing the trick yet, your folliculitis is of the type where an antibbiotic is recommended, your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic medication like Keflex, Cipro or Floxin.