Keratitis Follicularis is a type of keratosis which is also commonly referred to as Darier’s disease. This disease is characterized by patches on the skin that are dark and crusty and sometimes contain pus. These patches are also referred to as keratosis folicularis, keratotic papules or dyskeratosis follicularis. This condition may be confused by the other condition known as Keratosis follicularis spinulosa decalvans.
Keratosis follicularis spinulosa decalvans is a rare condition that is linked to the X-chromosome. It begins when a child is still in its infancy stage with development of keratosis pilaris on the face. It later changes to several other disorders as the infant grows older.
Keratosis follicularis is known to be found in both men and women and starts mostly during teenage years or slightly later. It is not a contagious condition. This disease is known to affect about one person in every 30,000 to 100,000. This type of keratosis is thought to be caused by an abnormality in the complex that is responsible for cell adhesion.
The disease is localized and mostly affects the neck, chest, back, forehead, groin and ears. It is sometimes found in other areas but not very often. This disease causes a rash on the skin that has a distinct odor. The soles of feet and palms may become thickened and mouth lesions may be found. Another distinguishing feature of this disease is that it causes fingernails to become fragile. It is usually made worse by humidity, heat and over exposure to sunlight. Sometimes this form of keratosis is made better by exposure to the sun and more so in the one that affects the forehead. Keratosis follicularis occurs in minor forms and may go undiagnosed for the entire life of the person. This keratosis in its minor form produces rashes which are aggravated by heat, humidity, sunlight and stress. It is however odorless. It also leads to poorly formed fingernails with vertical lines.
Keratosis follicularis is treated by retinoids which are administered orally if it is in its severe form. Antibiotics may also be administered and some prescription-only steroids be given to the patient during acute flares. Application of sunscreen and taking vitamin C supplements is one way of preventing the keratosis flares. No specific treatment is needed if the keratosis is in minor forms but the patients are advised to avoid conditions that aggravate the disease. Even the minor forms of keratosis follicularis have occasional flare ups which are treated with topical creams.
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