Disseminate and Recurrent Infundibular Folliculitis

Updated: Aug 14, 2017
  • Author: Christopher R Gorman, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Overview

Background

Disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis (DRIF) was first described in 1968 by Hitch and Lund. [1] The clinical presentation is much like miliaria or keratosis pilaris. It is mostly seen in young healthy people, and most patients have a dark skin color. It consists of generalized flesh-colored papules. Therapy has generally been unsuccessful.

Courtesy of San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Courtesy of San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium slide files.

The validity of disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis as a separate entity has been questioned. However, it does have such a characteristic clinical picture that for the present it is accepted as an entity.

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Pathophysiology

The etiology of disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis is not established.

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Epidemiology

Frequency

United States

Although the first case of disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis was not reported until 1968, other more recent reports indicate that it is a fairly common occurrence. Clinics that see a large number of young dark-skinned patients report that disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis is a common condition. Indeed, it may occur in large numbers in hot, humid weather.

International

Cases of disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis have been reported from Europe and India.

Race

Disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis has been reported primarily in people of African American origin in the United States. [2] Why a number of dermatoses tend to be papular and follicular in dark-skinned people is not known. This phenomenon is well documented in atopic dermatitis.

Sex

Although most of the patients are men, disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis has been reported in women.

Age

Most of the reported disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis patients have been healthy young adults.

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Prognosis

Disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis may last for years. Pruritus is the troublesome symptom of disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis. In the past, this was difficult to relieve. Disseminate and recurrent infundibular folliculitis may make it uncomfortable for the patient to work in a hot, humid environment.

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