[Ofuji's eosinophilic pustular folliculitis. Efficacy of acitretin].Ann Dermatol Venereol 1997; 124(8):540-3AD
We report the first case of eosinophilic pustular folliculitis (Ofuji's disease) which was successfully treated with acitretin.
A 50-year old women (HIV negative) had developed over 3 months an erythematopapulous plaque under the left orbit. The clinical and histological diagnosis was eosinophilic pustular folliculitis. Successive treatment with cetirizine then indomethacin was ineffective. Acitretin (0.5 mg/kg/d) was then started and led to cure within 1 month. Six weeks after the patient spontaneously stopped the treatment, the lesion recurred at the same localization. Further treatment with isotretinoin (0.5 mg/kg/d) was then given but did not alter progression of the lesion. Acitretin was then reintroduced at the same dose and again produced rapid cure. Acitretin was then tapered off to 10 mg/d then maintained at this dose as lesions reappeared with further dose reduction.
It is difficult to treat eosinophilic pustular folliculitis because of the random nature of response to different drugs. General corticosteroids, dapsone and indomethacin are classically proposed but with variable success. Isotretinoin is proposed on the hypothesis of a link with sebaceous secretion, but results have been contradictory. This drug was ineffective in our case. Acitretin did however provide very rapid improvement with an efficacy confirmed at reintroduction. This retinoid which does not have the specific action of isotretinoin could affect follicular keratinocytes which have been shown to be activated in this chronic skin disease.