PSEUDOFOLLICULITIS OF THE BIKINI LINE and LEGS OF A WOMAN

By Gary M. White, MD


It is not uncommon for a woman to get a folliculitis or a pseudofolliculitis in the pubic area (or legs) after shaving. There can be a true folliculitis, e.g. staphylococcus, or ingrown hairs, or irritation or a combination.

Clinical

Red follicular papules and at times pustules are seen. Sometimes larger "cystic" lesions may occur and last for weeks. Careful inspection may show ingrown hairs.

Treatment

The presence of any pustules might prompt a bacterial culture. Topical benzoyl peroxide e.g. 5% several times a week may be helpful, preferably one that you put on and leave on (not a wash). The patient must be careful not to get it on clothes as it will bleach them. One approach is to apply before bedtime every other night and wear white underwear. Alternatively, clindamycin solution/gel/lotion may be prescribed. Also, washing daily in the shower with Hibiclens OTC may reduce the bacterial count.

Ultimately laser hair removal may be the best solution for woman with a chronic problem.

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