What is tufted folliculitis?

Hair loss conditions can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, mainly because there are many different contributing factors and causes. The exact causes of hair loss vary from person to person, and in some people are never pinpointed.

Proper diagnosis of hair loss is made even more difficult when the condition is rare. One of these conditions is tufted folliculitis, an uncommon disorder which can cause hair loss and scarring of the scalp.


People with tufted folliculitis often have patches of scarring alopecia accompanied by something known as doll’s hair-like bundling of follicles. This means that multiple hairs emerge through expanded follicular orifices. This causes the ‘tufting’ effect, along with the retention of telogen hairs in the follicles and a fibrosing process.

Associated conditions

Tufted folliculitis is a symptom of a number of scarring diseases and conditions, including:

• Graham-Little syndrome
• Chronic lupus erythematosus
• Folliculitis decalvans
• Chronic staphylococcal infection
• Acne keloidalis nuchae
• Dissecting cellulitis
• Lichen planopilaris
• Immunobullous disorders


At present, no definitive curing treatment for tufted folliculitis has been found, although there are measures sufferers can take to reduce discomfort and improve the appearance of the scalp.