Folliculitis is a type of skin condition in which the hair follicles get inflamed. Hair follicles refer to the minute pockets from where each hair strand develops. This is often the result of an infection, usually bacterial or fungal in nature. At the onset, it appears as a tiny red bump that develops in the follicle area. Sometimes it appears as a pimple with a white head. After a few days, and as the infection spreads, the bumps form crusty sores.

woman fixing her hair

Some of the factors that contribute significantly to folliculitis include damaged follicles, wearing extremely tight clothes that cause irritation and possible damage to the follicles as well as clogging as a result of blocked pores and/or makeup. Often, an opening on the skin, whether due to a wound or cut, may also predispose you to this infection. Swimming in pools or tubs that are not sufficiently treated using adequate chlorine is also a potential cause of folliculitis. Sometimes, diseases which lower the body’s immune response also contribute to the likelihood of hair follicles getting inflamed.

While this condition does not pose any life-threatening stances, it does cause extreme itchiness and soreness. It is also pretty embarrassing to keep scratching your scalp as a result of the infection. Severe folliculitis may lead to loss of hair and cause scarring of the scalp. This is what makes it important to address the condition and manage the infection. Mild folliculitis is easy to manage with a number of home remedies, but this is not always the case. In extreme infections, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying conditions. The advantage of using natural remedies for mild cases is that these solutions have minimal side-effects, making it a preferred option.

1. Essential Oil Mixture:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Choice of essential oils (such as bergamot, thyme, lavender and tea tree oil), warm water, dropper and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy


Essential oils have long been used as an ideal form of remedy for a wide array of topical infections. This works effectively because the oils are mixed and applied topically. In addition to this, the oils have excellent antiseptic properties that ensure the speedy healing of the bumps that appear on the skin. Tea tree oil is added for its antibacterial properties that go a long way in reducing the spread of the infection. Water is added to prevent any skin irritation especially for those with sensitive skin. You will also need cotton wool to ease the application.


  1. Place 3 drops of each of the oils in an equal amount of the warm water.
  2. Mix the oils well before soaking the cotton wool in the mixture.
  3. Apply the oil over the affected skin, making sure you do this as gently as possible to prevent popping the bumps which are sometimes filled with pus.
  4. Use this remedy thrice daily.
  5. Repeat this procedure daily for about a week, although you should start noticing a difference about 5 days after the remedy.


2. Raw Garlic:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh cloves of garlic as well as a pestle and mortar.
Difficulty: Easy


The health benefits found in garlic have made it one of the most effective natural remedies available. The active compounds present in the garlic not only help the body fight off infection, they also reduce the symptoms associated with folliculitis. Two of the most notable active ingredients include ajoene and allicin. For this remedy you will apply the remedy topically. If you’d like however, you mat add lots of garlic to your diet to compliment the topical use of the same. Regular application and consumption of the garlic goes a long way in fighting off folliculitis, and you should start seeing positive results in a few days.


  1. Remove the top layer of the garlic cloves and chop off the tips.
  2. Cut the garlic cloves into small pieces and then proceed to pound using a pestle and mortar.
  3. This results in a paste-like substance which you can then apply topically on the affected skin.
  4. Take at least 3 cloves of garlic daily to keep the healing progress in check.
  5. Use this remedy daily until the infection is completely cleared.


3. Neem Leaves:

Time Required: 45- 60 Min
What You Need: A handful of neem leaves, a juice extractor and cotton wool. Alternatively, use the leaves and water in a pan.
Difficulty: Easy


Neem leaves constitute a reliable remedy for the management of different skin conditions. When it comes to the natural treatment of folliculitis, the use of neem leaves has proven to be a soothing remedy. What’s more, the presence of anti-fungal and antibacterial properties help deal with the infection. There are two simple ways in which you can use neem leaves: you may either extract the juice and apply topically, or boil the leaves and use the resulting solution in the same way. Follow the set of directions below to help you get the most out of neem leaves.


Using the Juice Extractor

  1. Sort and wash the neem leaves well to get rid of dirt on the surface.
  2. Place the wet leaves in a juice extractor and let it run for the set time depending on the amount of leaves placed.
  3. Soak the cotton wool in the neem juice and use it to apply on the affected skin.
  4. Do this thrice daily.

Boiling the Leaves

  1. This alternative is just as effective, and in place of the extraction process, requires you to boil the leaves.
  2. Sort and clean the leaves well before placing in a pan containing cold water.
  3. Boil the leaves in the water for 10 minutes or so.
  4. Allow the solution to cool down before application as the hot remedy will easily cause scarring and pain.
  5. Soak the cotton wool in the resulting solution and use it to dab on the part of the skin affected by folliculitis.
  6. Just as with the option above, use this remedy thrice daily until the infection clears.


4. Oatmeal Bath:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of oats and warm bath water.
Difficulty: Easy


Oatmeal has long been used for the natural treatment of conditions affecting the scalp and skin. It therefore comes as no surprise that this is one of the most effective home remedies for the treatment of folliculitis. The oatmael not only adds a soothing layer on the skin, it is also an excellent anti-inflammatory that helps reduce the pain and inflammation caused by the crusty sores.

In fact, so effective is oatmeal, that it is included as a key ingredient in medication used to treat folliculitis. Why not make the best of this natural remedy whose skin health benefits are an added bonus? Follow the directions listed below to prepare an oatmeal bath. This remedy is especially effective for cases where the infection develops as a result of swimming in pools or hot baths with inadequate chlorine.


  1. Place the cup of oatmeal in the bathtub and slowly run the water.
  2. Mix the oatmeal in the water so that it is well dispersed.
  3. Soak in this bath for half an hour.
  4. Do this at least once daily for best results.


5. Vinegar:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Part of Apple cider vinegar/White vinegar, 2 parts of warm water and a clean cotton towel.
Difficulty: Easy


It is impossible to list remedies recommended for the natural treatment of folliculitis without including vinegar. For this, you may use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar since both work just as well. The antiseptic properties found in the vinegar help heal the infected follicles. The two also have the advantage of reducing scarring of the affected skin. You need to use warm water to dilute the vinegar. This is done to prevent irritation of the skin. If you have sensitive skin, it is advisable to carry out a patch test. In case of any irritation, stop the use of this remedy with immediate effect.


  1. Mix the choice vinegar with the water using the ratio of 1:2.
  2. Soak the clean towel in the resulting solution and then carefully press it on the infected skin.
  3. Do this for about 10 minutes for each session.
  4. Repeat this procedure thrice daily until the inflammation subsides and the infection is eliminated.


6. Virgin Coconut Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Virgin coconut oil and cotton wool. Water bath (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


As is the case with most skin conditions, coconut oil works effectively well in the clearing of infections and the reduction of associated symptoms. For this reason, it is used in the natural treatment of folliculitis, thanks to its healing properties. These include anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Virgin coconut oil is preferred. Since the oil usually solidifies in low temperatures, you may need a water bath to melt as indicated below. This makes it easier to use.


  1. If the coconut oil has solidified, place it in a shallow bowl and then put the bowl in the water bath,
  2. Once the oil has melted, dip the cotton wool in it and apply on the part of the skin that has been infected by folliculitis.
  3. Allow the oil to remain on the skin as it also acts as a moisturizer.
  4. Use this remedy thrice daily until you are able to treat the condition completely.


7. Aloe Vera Gel:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Succulent aloe vera leaf (freshly cut) and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy


Aloe vera is, undoubtedly, one of the world’s most trusted natural remedy for different conditions that affect the skin; folliculitis is no exception. When applied on the infected skin, the cool gel works by soothing the skin and remarkably reducing the itchiness associated with the condition. The natural makeup of the gel also causes the swelling to subside while reducing the pain. Unlike other remedies, aloe vera is extremely beneficial for treating inflamed follicles because it repairs the damage and allows the follicles to heal quickly. Prepare the remedy as follows in order to get the gel’s healing properties.


  1. Snip the edges of the freshly cut leaf to reveal the succulent part of the leaf.
  2. Gently rub the gel on the infected skin, allowing it to get absorbed for quick healing.
  3. Depending on the location of the infected skin, you may collect the juice in a cup and then use cotton wool to apply it on the part of the skin affected by folliculitis.
  4. Allow the gel to dry for about 15 minutes and then rinse using warm water.
  5. Use this remedy thrice daily until the condition heals completely.


8. Hot Water Compress:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Hot water in a bowl, 2 teaspoons of salt as well as a clean towel.
Difficulty: Easy


Hot water therapy is a simple yet effective home remedy for the natural treatment of folliculitis. This is because, when applied to the affected skin, it reduces the pain and eases the itchiness. Salt is added for its disinfectant properties that help reduce the spread of the infections. Use this remedy thrice daily until the rashes and infection clear.


  1. Place the hot water in a bowl and stir in the salt to dissolve.
  2. Soak the clean towel in the salty water for a minute.
  3. Place the hot towel on the rashes and let it remain in place until all the heat dissipates.
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 twice more to speed up the healing process.


9. Turmeric Herb:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of turmeric (ground), some warm water to prepare the paste and rinse the skin. Disposable gloves (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


While turmeric is best known for its use in he culinary field, it also makes for an excellent home remedy for the home treatment of folliculitis. This is because it is both a potent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. It is especially effective in fighting a type of bacteria known as the Staphylococcus, one of the key causes of follicle inflammation. All you need to do is prepare a thick paste for topical application using the directions listed below.
NOTE: Due to the intense color of the ground turmeric, you may want to use disposable gloves to prevent staining.


  1.  Add small amounts of water to the turmeric in drops. This is important because it helps create a thick paste which does not easily fall off.
  2. Once the paste is ready, apply it on the affected skin.
  3. Allow it to dry well for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
  4. Use this remedy daily until the infection is completely gone.


10. Additional Tips for the Treatment and Management of Folliculitis

The above remedies provide a great solution to the natural treatment of inflamed follicles. In addition to these, there are simple tips that you can use to prevent or reduce the chances of folliculitis.

They include:

  1. Observe personal hygiene. Bath and change clothes daily to prevent clogged pores. This is especially important after makeup application.
  2. Change your bedding more regularly. This is because bed sheets absorb a lot of dust and sweat as you sleep. This can easily lengthen the healing process as it worsens the damage done to the root follicles.
  3. Avoid tight clothing as this causes intense friction between the skin and the fabric, thus increasing the inflammation link associated with folliculitis.
  4. As you use these remedies, remember to steer clear of public water facilities such as hot tubs and swimming pools. Even after the skin has healed, you want to ensure that such facilities are well treated using chlorine.
  5. Lastly, incorporate the use of an antibacterial soap to your bath routines in order to help fight off the infection.

Regular use of the aforementioned home remedies goes a long way in treating folliculitis. Note, however, that in the event these remedies do not offer any relief, you must seek professional medical attention. This is key as it helps reduce the severity of the infection.