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Folliculitis in Infant/Neonate
See also in: Anogenital,Hair and Scalp
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Folliculitis in Infant/Neonate

See also in: Anogenital,Hair and Scalp
Contributors: Priyanka Vedak MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Folliculitis occurs due to inflammation of the superficial hair follicle, resulting in follicularly centered papules and pustules.

The etiology of folliculitis can be variable, with bacterial, fungal (eg, candidiasis), viral, parasitic, and noninfectious causes reported. A detailed history of comorbid conditions, exposures, and medications, in conjunction with appropriate ancillary testing, can be helpful.

In infants in particular, infectious folliculitis should be considered. While Malassezia (Pityrosporum) folliculitis is commonly seen in adults and older children, it has been rarely reported in infants. Statistically, children in day care facilities are at higher risk for community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, so suspicion should be high.

Noninfectious folliculitis may also be considered. Eosinophilic pustular folliculitis is a variant of Ofuji disease and is characterized by pruritic pustules on the scalp and peripheral leukocytosis with eosinophilia. Numerous cases of this arising during infancy have been reported.

Related topic: immunosuppression-associated eosinophilic folliculitis


L73.8 – Other specified follicular disorders

13600006 – Folliculitis

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Neonatal infections with pustules:
  • Neonatal listeriosis
  • Neonatal varicella
  • Neonatal herpes simplex virus
  • Neonatal candidiasis
Noninfectious dermatoses with pustules:
  • Erythema toxicum neonatorum
  • Transient neonatal pustular melanosis
  • Neonatal acne
  • Acropustulosis of infancy
Other dermatoses to consider:
  • Keratosis pilaris
  • Scabies
  • Milia
  • Miliaria rubra

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed:03/01/2017
Last Updated:08/16/2021
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Folliculitis in Infant/Neonate
See also in: Anogenital,Hair and Scalp
A medical illustration showing key findings of Folliculitis : Buttocks, Follicular configuration, Folliculitis, Superior chest, Upper back, Legs
Clinical image of Folliculitis - imageId=320768. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A close-up of follicularly based papules and a pustule.'
A close-up of follicularly based papules and a pustule.
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