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Follicular eczema is an uncommon type of eczema which affects the hair follicles. This skin condition is characterized by severe itching, skin dryness and a reddish appearance of the skin. The cause for follicular eczema is unknown but some skin experts believe that it is an inherited skin condition.
Follicular eczema can be unattractive and this is the primary reason why many people with this type of eczema seek consult.
Follicular eczema may appear in the areas of the back, the arms and forearms and also on the upper thighs. Here are the common characteristics of this skin condition:
• The follicles of the hair are affected and the lesions appear as small and rough. They may also be colored red to deep red in appearance surrounding the hair follicles.
• These bumpy and itchy lesions become inflamed and can be very red in appearance.
• When the lesions are scratched, they bleed and ooze and if not treated right away can lead to skin infection.
Anyone can get follicular eczema but women are more prone in developing it more than men. Skin experts believe that if your family has a history of follicular eczema then you are at risk of getting it as well. People with asthma and allergies can also develop this skin condition.
According to experts, follicular eczema is inherited but there are some factors that can increase a person’s susceptibility in developing follicular eczema:
• Stress can trigger an attack so is a decrease in immune system functioning.
• Poor diet is also seen as a culprit in developing follicular eczema.
• Drastic weather changes may also lead to an attack.
• People with asthma, hay fever and allergies can also be prone to develop follicular eczema as well as other eczema types.
• Exposure to allergens and irritating chemicals is another factor in developing follicular eczema.
There is no cure for follicular eczema, only treatments that can control symptoms:
• Avoid any irritating products especially any diet and activity restriction advised by your dermatologist.
• Moisturize your skin after a bath to lock in moisture. A well recommended product to use is Aloe vera. It is safe and effective in treating skin inflammation due to follicular eczema and lessens the itch as well.
• Your dermatologist will also prescribe topical steroid that can control skin inflammation. These creams come in different strengths and your doctor can advise the right dosage for your particular condition.
• Placing cool compresses on the area affected can decrease inflammation and also offer relief for the severe itch. Never scratch too hard, breaking your skin can increase your risk in getting skin infection.
• Oral and topical antibiotics are also prescribed to control infection in severe cases of follicular eczema.
There are several ways to prevent follicular eczema flare offs especially if your lesion and inflammation has subsided:
• Avoid stress; learn to manage your stress with alternative methods.
• Avoid constricting garments and clothes made of wool and other irritating materials. Wear cotton made shirts or dresses that can absorb perspiration and can be less irritating to skin.
• Follow your dermatologist skin regimen to keep skin moisturized and to avoid certain irritants that can flare off attacks.
• Avoid foods that are restricted to your diet.
• Always follow any medications prescribed and never self medicate. If you would like to try a home remedy or herbal treatment, consult your dermatologist first.