What is Follicular Eczema?
Follicular eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a rare skin condition that affects the dermis around the hair follicles over the body and causes irritation. In Atopic dermatitis your skin’s outer layer is vulnerable to external threats, such as allergens, bacteria, or other irritants.
This rare form of eczema is characterized by red and inflamed patches of small bumps usually appearing around the upper arms, back, and thighs region. Like any types of eczema, it makes the skin dry and causes excessive itching.
Scratching the affected area increases the chances of being infected by an unwanted bacteria or fungus that often results in the formation of tiny pimples that may tend to ooze and bleed. Similar to other forms of eczema, the appearance of this type can leave an individual embarrassed.
The exact cause of follicular eczema is still unknown, however, it is often considered as a genetically inherited disease. In addition, people with asthma, hay fever and allergies are at high risk of developing this uncommon skin condition.
Follicular eczema Pictures
Allergens/Irritants you should avoid
Some of the common irritants/allergens include:
- Too hot and too cold temperatures
- Pet dander
- Certain kind of fungus
- Bacterias and more
As discussed previously, follicular eczema causes irritation in the skin areas surrounding the hair follicles. The irritated patches of skin that appear anywhere on the body but is most likely to affect the back, upper arms and thighs.
It has no certain cause but is considered to run in the families. It is often linked with a family history of asthma, hay fever and allergies. A few other suspected causes associated with the skin ailment includes stress, poor diet, menstruation, artificial heating, certain foods, illness and weather changes.
Most common symptoms are:
- small, rough, red, inflamed bumps on the skin near hair follicles
- a rush on the face, hands, feet, arms, or legs
- affected skin area is dry and itchy
- depending on the severity of the condition, the bumps can be bleeding or weepy
It cannot be cured, therefore, it is best to manage the symptoms of Atopic dermatitis in order to avoid the condition from worsening and recurrence.
Who is likely to develop Follicular Eczema?
Although, the skin condition may affect anyone but more cases of women with Follicular Eczema Flare up have been reported.
Treatment for Follicular Eczema
Like other types, it can only be controlled and managed by following certain methods and remedies. Before discussing any remedial measures, take a note of these necessary points to avoid the worsening of condition.
- In case of a eczema flare-up, consider the recent changes you made in your lifestyle or any alterations in the environment.
- Is there a seasonal change?
- Have you been stressing yourself too much?
- Are you wearing the right fabrics?
- Have you changed your washing detergent or soap?
- Did you include something new to your diet plan or have eaten something that can cause allergy?
- Were you exposed to allergens or dust mites?
All the discussed factors are held responsible for eczema flare-ups and hence should be avoided.
You must follow a specific daily-care regime and a proper diet plan to alleviate the symptoms of follicular eczema.
- Moisturize dry skin to tackle the itch and inflammation caused due to eczema.
- Hydrating the skin is the foremost action one must adopt to manage the condition.
- Ensure that you use a gentle and fragrance-free moisturizing lotion to tame the symptoms of eczema.
- Additionally, look for the products that don’t irritate or cause a burning sensation to the skin.
- It is necessary to moisturize the skin three to four times in a day.
- wear loose-fitting clothes
Follicular Eczema Natural Treatment
A few of the natural ingredients that provide significant moisturization to the skin include:
- Coconut oil
- Aloe Vera gel
- Olive oil
- Fish oil
In addition to this natural treatment, there are specific moisturizers, lotions, over-the-counter creams, topical steroids and ointments that work well for eczema conditions. However, if you’re facing a severe type eczema, ensure to visit a dermatologist for the best advice and treatment.
Frequent bathing and bleach baths
These are another necessary measures that can help manage the symptoms of eczema. Proper cleansing of body aids in restricting the growth of bacterial infection that triggers eczema flare-ups.
Additionally, it helps control the urge to itch. Bleach baths are highly recommended by skin specialists to alleviate the signs of this skin condition. Ensure to moisturize your body within three minutes after bathing.
Diet plays an essential role in case of treating eczema.
Keep a check over what you eat and what needs to be avoided. It is necessary to consider the food that may aggravate the skin condition and accordingly follow a diet plan that provides proper nutrition to the body.
The cleansers used for bathing and washing purposes should be gentle to the skin. Fragrant and antibacterial cleansers may aggravate the symptoms. Try to make use of natural, mild and dye-free cleansers, shampoos.
Several therapies are being suggested by the dermatologists to manage eczema symptoms. A few of these therapies include wet wrap therapy, phototherapy, topical steroids therapy.
Medical intervention is necessary to manage skin condition and prevent its recurrence.
Wet Wrap Therapy For Eczema
Wet wraps’ are wet bandages being wrapped over an emollient medicine or topical steroid creams to areas of red, hot, weeping eczema (more often due to atopic dermatitis). These are dressings, made from articles of clothing, that have been soaked in water with a dry layer applied on top.
Wet wrap therapy consists of soaking and sealing the skin in the following way:
- First, a bath to soak the skin.
- Then, The skin is lightly dried, then sealed with a heavy layer of cream or balm/ointment that soothes.
- Next cover the skin with damp clothing or a layer of damp bandages.
- Now top with a layer of dry clothing or bandages.
- Leave the wraps on for at least two hours.
The benefits of wet wrapping include:
- Lower itching and scratching
- Reduced redness and swelling
- Skin replenishment
- Better skin healing process
- Curtail steroid usage once the condition is controlled
- Better sleep
Here is the list of studies that support wet wrap therapy for atopic dermatitis.
“Outpatient Home-based Wet Wrap Dressings with Topical Steroids with Children with Severe Recalcitrant Atopic Dermatitis: A Feasibility Pilot Study”
“Consensus Guidelines for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis in Korea (Part I): General Management and Topical Treatment”
Self care for Follicular eczema
Yes, self-care is necessary to treat the symptoms of follicular eczema. There are various methods of treating eczema flare ups that includes:
- Moisturize your skin regularly
- Soak yourselves in lukewarm water
- Loose fitting clothes can do wonders
- Use fragrance free moisturizers, soaps and detergents
- Placing clean cotton cloth on the affected area
In order to Prevent Follicular Eczema Flare up
- Avoid scratching to reduce eczema flares.
Continuous scratching of the affected skin results in breaking of the skin barrier, thus, making the skin more susceptible to a bacterial and fungal infection.
- Avoid synthetic and woolen fabrics, instead prefer cotton clothes. Also, restrict yourself from wearing tight-fitted clothing.
- Keep a note of products or foods that you suspect might aggravate the symptoms.
- Avoid those products and foods to manage your skin condition and prevent outbreaks.
Shaliza Gill is a Content Writer, Manager, and Developer, producing content, including infographics, websites, and blogs. She has completed her Master of Science in 2013 and has been managing content at Eczema Living since 2015. She coordinates teams of writers, editors, and project managers. Her goal is to produce content that is thoroughly researched, clearly explained, and as helpful as possible to the readers.