Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I have folliculitis?"
My scalp is really itchy and my dad said that when that happened to him it was from folliculitis. Is that what I have? How do you know if you have it?
What you have does not sound like folliculitis. Folliculitis is a condition where a hair follicle gets infected with bacteria and becomes a small abscess. The abscess is red, can be painful, and usually can be popped or broken to express puss. Follicultis can occur anywhere where there is hair follicles, but the scalp is a more rare place. Folliculitis often occurs on the neck after shaving or on the arms or back. In addition it does not cause the skin to itch, it causes pain if anything. what you have sounds more like seborrheic dermatitis. This is an irritation of skin that is usually more oily and the scalp is one example. The symptoms are an itchy irritated scalp that can flake off (also known as dandruff). Seborrheic dermatitis is treated with steroid creams and anti-fungal creams. Another possibility is that you have another condition such as a contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis. You will need to have a doctor examine it to figure it out for sure. The best physician for you to see about this is a dermatologist. A dermatologist is an expert on the scalp and can differentiate between the different conditions that can cause your symptoms. Good luck.
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