Tufted hair folliculitis: complete enduring response after treatment with rifampicin

J Dermatolog Treat. 2004 Dec;15(6):396-8. doi: 10.1080/09546630410022440.


Background: A 47-year-old woman presented with erythematous lesions with papules and pustules on her parieto-occipital region that had been present for 8 months. Areas of sclero-atrophic alopecia were evident, whereas at different points tufted hair shafts were coming out from single dilatated follicular ostia. Before our observation, an antibiotic oral therapy with tetracyclines and local with erythromycin had been administered to the patient, with partial improvement and relapse on its suspension.

Methods: Bacterial culture from pustules showed the development of Staphylococcus aureus. A skin biopsy was done. According to clinical and histopathological findings a diagnosis of tufted hair folliculitis was made and a treatment with oral rifampicin was started at the dosage of 450 mg twice per day.

Results: After 3 weeks of therapy, the pustular lesions regressed completely and after a follow-up of 1 year no relapse was observed.

Conclusions: Rifampicin is one of the best active antibiotics against S. aureus, which seems to play a role in the pathogenesis of tufted hair folliculitis. Our results, if further confirmed, may suggest a role for rifampicin either for the control of the pustular phase of this rare disorder or to prevent its relapses for a long time.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Folliculitis / drug therapy*
  • Folliculitis / microbiology
  • Folliculitis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Rifampin / therapeutic use*
  • Scalp Dermatoses / drug therapy
  • Scalp Dermatoses / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / complications
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / drug therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Rifampin