4 Things You Need To Know About Folliculitis Keloidalis Nuchae

Folliculitis keloidalis nuchae, also known as acne keloidalis nuchae, is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflammation of the hair follicles. Here are four things you need to know about folliculitis keloidalis nuchae.

What are the signs of folliculitis keloidalis nuchae?

If you have folliculitis keloidalis nuchae, you'll notice firm papules on the skin on the back of your neck. These papules look similar to ingrown hairs. Often, these papules are itchy and may bleed when you scratch them or when you style your hair.

These papules are usually between two and four millimeters wide and later turn into keloid patches. Keloids are a type of overgrown scar tissue, and these patches range in size from a few centimeters to more than 10 centimeters wide. Eventually, alopecia (hair loss) occurs in the affected area.

What causes it?

The exact cause of folliculitis keloidalis nuchae still isn't known, but many possible triggers have been identified. Chronic irritation like shaving too close may cause inflammation within the follicles. Bacterial infections, which can occur if your razor becomes contaminated, have also been implicated as a possible trigger.

What complications can folliculitis keloidalis nuchae cause?

If you have folliculitis keloidalis nuchae, getting a haircut can be uncomfortable. Getting a closely-shaven haircut can lead to crusts or pimples in the affected area of your skin. One study of folliculitis keloidalis nuchae sufferers found that 32% of them reported experiencing bleeding after getting their hair cut. To avoid these complications, you may need to wear your hair in a longer style than you would otherwise prefer.

Secondary infection is another concern associated with this condition. The pimples and keloids can become infected with bacteria, which can lead to problems like abscesses. You'll need to be careful to keep the area clean to reduce your risk of an infection.

How is folliculitis keloidalis nuchae treated?

In the early stages of the condition, your dermatologist may prescribe an antibiotic cream to apply to your papules. If your condition is more advanced, and you have keloid patches, more invasive treatments will be required.

Your dermatologist may inject steroids into your keloid patches to try to shrink them. Cryotherapy (freezing) can also be used to destroy the keloid tissue. Finally, the patches can be surgically excised. However, all of these treatments tend to have unsatisfactory results, according to NIH.

If you think you have folliculitis keloidalis nuchae, see a dermatologist before the condition gets worse. Contact a center like East Carolina Dermatology and Skin Surgery, PLLC to learn more.