How Do I Cure Painful, Embarrassing Folliculitis on Back of Thighs and Buttocks?

I have had what I thought was acne on my buttocks for many years. It is embarrassing and unattractive, as well as painful. Recently(last year), I have developed very painful and embarrassing ingrown hairs on the back of my thighs, which led me to my dermatologist. She diagnosed me with folliculitis and has prescribed foams, creams and other remedies, but to no avail. She has recommended laser hair removal, but I can't afford it. Is there an at-home laser hair removal system you would recommend?

Doctor Answers 5

Treatment of folliculitis - Behandlung von entzündeten Haaren

The best treatment would be to eliminate the ingrown hairs. Antibiotic creams or a disinfecting scrub may provide temporary relief.

Die beste Methode gegen eingewachsene Haare ist die Entfernung der Haare mit Laser oder IPL. Antibiotische Cremes oder desinfizierende Lösungen können auch eine vorübergehende Besserung bringen.

Mainz Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser hair removal for pseudofolliculitis

the dermatologist may have a difficult time distinguishing between true bacterial folliculitis and ingrown hair-induced folliculitis (pseudofolliculitis). If it is the mechanical problem of the curved hairshaft digging back down into the dermis which then creates the inflammation, then laser hair removal is the absolute best treatment.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Folliculitis improves with just a couple of laser sessions

I know Laser Hair removal sounds expensive, but just a couple of sessions should reduce the coarser hairs that are curving into the skin, causing the folliculitis. I have seen no at home method work, so do not waste the few dollars that could toward an effective treatment. I assume Tazorac cream and Evoclin foam have been tried?

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


Agree that it is very doubtful this is acne, wilthout rather severe acne elsewhere.

If you have a job in which you are sitting for long periods of time: desk job, truck driver, airline pilot etc., your folliculitis might be worsened by the mositure this constant position creates. I would try Cleocin solution, which will kill bacteria and dry up the area.

Other thoughts: the folliculitis shold be cultured to identify the culprit and to be sure it might not be a Candida folliculitis.

 Finally, a prolonged oral antibiotic such as Tetracycline might help, along with mupirocin ointment to the groin. The latter might help in case you are a staph carrier.

   Maybe, your dermatologist has already enacted these measures, but if not  these are some suggetions.

   As far as the laser home hair removal. I know the professional ones are very effective. You might chose the Luminis Lightsheer Duo. It takes less visits and might be more affordable. You should call around, there is quite a disparity in cost.

I cannot comment on the home devices. Electrolysis is an option, though it might be just as expensive as the laser in a physician's office.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

In grown hairs and folliculitis

These at-home hair removal systems may be more affordable but they are difficult to evaluate since they do not fall under our review. Perhaps consumer reports should do a review of these. Laser hair removal sounds to be your best option. Alternatives include electrolysis. Hair removal creams are not likely to offer much benefit since they do not treat the follicle. Performing routing exfoliation may be beneficial.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.