Eosinophilic folliculitis is a skin condition that causes inflammation around hair follicles. It can lead to itchy, pimple-like spots and pustules around the body.
Eosinophilic folliculitis is a type of folliculitis where eosinophilic cells, or eosinophils, gather around the hair follicles. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell, which fight infections and function within the immune system. They can build up in certain areas and cause inflammation.
This type of folliculitis typically occurs in people living with HIV. There is another type of eosinophilic folliculitis that mainly occurs in adults in Japan. Infantile versions of the condition also exist, which affect children from birth or within the first year of life.
Rarely, eosinophilic folliculitis may occur as a side effect of chemotherapy.
This article discusses the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of eosinophilic folliculitis.
The symptoms of eosinophilic folliculitis are
- pus in the hair follicles
- irritated and red skin around the hair follicles
- damaged hair
However, folliculitis symptoms vary from person to person. Some people may experience no symptoms at all, but others may have itchy and painful skin.
All forms of folliculitis are the result of inflammation around the hair follicles. The inflammation can be due to infection, injury, or irritation. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) lists several possible causes, including:
- using hot tubs
- shaving, plucking, or waxing hair
- wearing tight clothing
- applying medication on the skin, such as coal tar
- gaining weight
Skin that is hot and damp is more vulnerable to damage and infection, which can lead to folliculitis.
People with eosinophilic folliculitis have eosinophils around their hair follicles. However,
Learn more about hot tub folliculitis here.
HIV and eosinophilic folliculitis
Eosinophilic folliculitis is more
Healthcare professionals are not clear about why there is a link between these conditions. However, it could be due to HIV causing imbalances in the immune system and underlying infection.
A doctor or dermatologist may diagnose the condition by performing a physical examination of the symptoms and checking a person’s medical history. They will look out for patches of red, inflamed skin with pimple-like spots and pustules.
Treatment for the condition varies depending on its severity and the presence of other conditions, such as HIV.
In mild cases, it may be possible to treat folliculitis at home. The AAD suggests applying a warm compress to the area 3–4 times a day for around 15–20 minutes each time. It also suggests avoiding shaving, plucking, or waxing, which can increase the risk of infection.
In other cases, medications
Doctors may prescribe other types of medication when there is no virus. For example, they can use antibiotics to treat folliculitis due to a bacterial infection.
People should speak with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for them.
Folliculitis is a group of skin conditions that cause inflammation around the hair follicles. Eosinophilic folliculitis is a subtype of the condition where eosinophils are present around the hair follicles. Eosinophils are a type of immune cell.
However, experts are unclear about exactly what causes eosinophils to accumulate around hair follicles. There is a link between HIV and eosinophilic folliculitis. The impact HIV has on the immune system or an underlying infection can lead to eosinophilic folliculitis.
Doctors may treat this type of folliculitis with various medications depending on its severity. People living with HIV will require antiretroviral therapy to manage their HIV, which may then improve eosinophilic folliculitis symptoms.
A person should speak with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for them.