Eosinophilic folliculitis is a reaction to allergens, bacteria, fungus or parasites that affects the skin around hair follicles. It can develop on any part of the body but is most likely to occur on the face and head.
Small blisters form around hair follicles and cause hair loss, itchiness and infection. Bacteria from folliculitis can enter the blood stream and travel to other parts of the body, causing other symptoms or sickness.
Wounds that allow bacteria or fungus to enter the skin can trigger folliculitis. Other risk factors include a hot and humid climate, the presence of other skin disorders such as eczema or dermatitis, diabetes and an unclean living environment.
Bacterial and Fungal Folliculitis
Staphylococcus intermedius is the usual cause of bacterial folliculitis in dogs. Other bacteria may cause this condition as well as fungus that enter the skin through a wound. The bacterium that causes folliculitis is contagious and can spread to other animals or people.
Fleas, ticks and mites damage the skin, and some dogs are allergic to these parasites. Pustules will form at bite locations, and the scratching that results will spread contaminants to other parts of the body.
A diagnosis to determine the underlying factors is necessary to effectively treat folliculitis without causing further irritation. Antibacterial shampoo, anti-fungal creams, antibiotic ointment and prescription medications are used to treat this condition. Removal of parasites and maintaining a clean living environment will also help.
Any time a dog is suspected of having folliculitis or any other skin condition that will not clear up on its own, a veterinarian should be consulted.