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PH Chandrawansa, Y-C Giam
Correspondence: Y-C Giam, firstname.lastname@example.org
Folliculitis decalvans is a rare condition affecting mainly the scalp leading to scarring alopecia. Aetiology of the condition is still unknown, abnormal host response to Staphylococcus aureus has been postulated. We present a retrospective analysis of six cases of folliculitis decalvans presented to National Skin Centre (NSC), Singapore for the past five years, 1995-2000. The mean age of presentation was 39 years and ages ranged from 17 to 62 years. There were five male patients and one female patient. Duration of symptoms at presentation varied from six months to seven years. Occipital and vertex areas of the scalp were the only regions involved. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in three patients; in one patient culture yielded negative results and no culture was done in the other two patients. All our patients were treated with several separate courses of systemic antibiotics which include doxycycline, erythromycin, minocycline, co-trimoxazole, cloxacillin, erythromycin, rifampicin and clindamycin. In addition one patient was treated with fucidic acid and zinc sulphate. The disease ran a protracted course with temporary improvement while on antibiotic and flare up of disease when antibiotics were stopped. The effectiveness of early treatment with rifampicin has been highlighted in some case reports in the past. We did use rifampicin in one of our patients. Our concern over emergence of antibiotic resistance, if used widely, may not permit us to use rifampicin on a wide scale.
Keywords: folliculitis decalvans, tufted folliculitis, Staphylococcus aureus
Singapore Med J 2003; 44(2): 84-87