Folliculitis Boils and Carbuncles


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.