Folliculitis is the inflammation of hair follicles due to an infection, injury or irritation. Boils are tender, swollen areas that form around hair follicles, and carbuncles are clusters of boils.
- Boils often form on the neck, breasts, buttocks and face but can also be located in the waist area, groin, buttocks and under the arms.
- Carbuncles are usually found in the back of the neck or thigh.
- Folliculitis, boils and carbuncles all produce pus but have generally different symptoms. Carbuncles may also be accompanied by fever and fatigue.
- Treatment may include topical antibiotics (for folliculitis), oral or intravenous (IV) antibiotics (to treat the infection) or possible removal of the boils and carbuncles.