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Q. I have itchy scalp. Is it folliculitis?

Answered by
Dr. Bharatesh Devendra Basti
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 25, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

I hope you will read it thoroughly and answer every query. I am a 30 years old male. It all started with itchy scalp ten months back this summer. But, I was not concerned much, since it was just itchy and some bumps like mosquito bites (not more than two to three) and some swelling as well. Since it was summer, I was sweating. Sometimes, the whole scalp would itch and sometimes only the bumps. It continued for some months. Later, itching of the scalp subsided and bumps size has decreased. But since three to four months, I can feel pimple like things on my scalp and they ache sometimes. When they started, they would disappear on their own in less than a week. But now, even after so many months, I can feel some more (not more than two at a time) pimples. I doubt whether it could be folliculitis. I have not had a haircut since ten months, just because I thought the itching could be contagious. So, I better not go for a haircut and spread it to others. There are two to three bumps on my face as well. One was hurting earlier, but it is all itchy and the other two are only itchy. I would like to state it again that they do not itch all the time and one that aches do not hurt at all the time. Also, I felt a pimple like thing on my butt. It disappeared in a week. It was not very painful. I have had folliculitis till I was 25. So, I know how much it pains and itches. I thought it could be folliculitis. My father had a boil and got better in two weeks and everything was fine. So, I thought maybe the spread of same bacteria. Getting pimples on my butt have become regular. They come and go and they appeared on my face only after that. We are a family of four. I have OCD as well and cannot tolerate these skin diseases. I wash my hands and taps touched by him every time he touches them. The only thing that I share is the bathroom tap and latrine tap and also latrine bucket. Apart from them, I do not touch anything from him.

When I try to touch the pimple like things on my butt, I cannot feel them. They do not appear to be there. Also, before the pimple like things started to appear, I had some scratchy and cracked elbows (pictures included) and it was painful. I was scared and thought it is somehow related to that boil. It healed in two weeks. This happened four months back. From then on only all pimple like things started appearing in the same month. Unfortunately, I do not have the picture. And the ones on the face and scalp are covered with hair, so there is no way I can click it.

Now, my question is whether I can go for a haircut and beard trimming? I have not trimmed my hair since five months, all because of these reasons to not spread it to others and myself. I will use electric shaver to trim my beard. How can I have my haircut without spreading it to others? My hairs are now getting twisted and unmanageable, since I have not covered them either. My social life has suffered a lot because of it. And, what is it (disease) that has taken away my freedom, social life and confidence? Also, what can I use to disinfect my electric shaver, the blades, nail cutter and other such things? What I do is soak in boiling water for 30 minutes and then wash it with dish gel and dettol. I am waiting for your answers. Thank you.

Dr. Bharatesh Devendra Basti

Community Medicine Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Preventive Medicine Venereology


Welcome to

I have checked your photos (attachments removed to protect patient identity).

It is better you go for haircut and shave or trim beard. It may be due to folliculitis or fungal infection by the description. You can get it examined by a doctor or dermatologist for physical evaluation and diagnosis.

You need not worry about spreading infection to others. You can use separate trimmer for yourself or get it done by a barber with separate trimmer.

The disinfection method you are following should be fine.

You can use topical antibiotic cream like Mupirocin (T-bact) if pus filled lesions are present.

Do not worry about transmission of diseases. You can wash your hands with soap and water after using washroom.

The lesion on elbow appears to be due to dryness. You can use moisturizing soap or Cetaphil cleanser.

Apply moisturizing cream like Ponds or Cetraben cream. Main ingredients of this cream are (White soft paraffin and Light Liquid paraffin).

For further information consult a dermatologist online -->

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