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Skin Care and Diseases

Scalp folliculitus?

07/27/2006

Question:

I am worried because I believe that I may have scalp folliculitus. I have what a couple of bumps, ocassionally with what appears to be dry pus, throughout my scalp and I have lost a lot of hair.

Answer:

By definition, scalp folliculitis is inflammation of hair follicles.  It usually signifies a pustule that may destroy the hair follicle and leave scarring.  All pustules are not infectious.  Some may be inflammatory.  Longstanding infection with bacteria, fungi, or even viruses may lead to loss of hair, but there are other diseases such as folliculitis decalvans that can present in a similar fashion and lead to permanent hair loss.

Please see your board certified dermatologist soon.  It sounds as though you are losing hair, and possibly losing it permanently.  There are a number of people who specialize in diseases of the scalp:  Dr. Wilma Bergfeld at the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Vera Price at University of California San Francisco are two world authorities that you might wish to consult.

 

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati