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Folliculitis in Children

Updated April 17, 2017

Folliculitis is an infection of the follicles of the hair and is especially common in children on the face, back, legs and scalp. Bacterium like Staphylococcus causes the infection when it gets trapped in the follicle.

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Causes in Children

Children are more susceptible to folliculitis because parents may not clean sweaty clothing after use, allowing bacteria to grow on the clothing and infect the hair follicles through cuts or scratches on the skin, or from friction caused by the clothing. Infants are also prone to folliculitis since they have a less advanced immune system.


Folliculitis in children will generally cause itching, rash or painful red pus-filled bumps over the skin. Severe cases could develop into a deep-skin condition called cellulitis, which is more painful and can cause fatigue, fever and chills.


To treat folliculitis in children, soap with antibacterial properties can be used, as well as hydrocortisone applied over the red rash for soothing. Children should always take a shower after swimming in public pools or hot tubs. Children's clothing should also be somewhat loose-fitting to avoid friction that can irritate hair follicles. Most mild cases will clear up on their own.


There is non-infectious type of folliculitis and four types of infectious folliculitis in children that are caused by bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses. Children can get bacterial folliculitis from contaminated swimming pools or hot tubs easier than adults because they tend to stay in the water longer.


There can be complications to folliculitis in children if the condition does not respond to treatment or is caused by Staph. It can quickly progress into a boil, which may require antibiotics or lancing by a doctor. Staph can also cause impetigo, a blistering condition in children that occurs around the mouth or nose. This may also require antibiotics or a skin cream.

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About the Author

Gemma Argent

Gemma Argent writes articles and essays for Associated Content, HART, Horizon Magazine, and Canada. She writes fiction for Aria Kalsan and sci-fi and essays for Writing Edge magazine. She has bachelor's degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno, in environmental resources and archaeology and has done graduate coursework from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in water resources and writing.

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