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Treatment of Gram-Negative Folliculitis in Patients with Acne


Gram-negative folliculitis may be the result of long-term antibacterial treatment in acne patients. It is caused by bacterial interference and replacement of the Gram-positive flora of the facial skin and the mucous membranes of the nose and infestation with Gram-negative bacteria. These Gram-negative bacteria include Escherischia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marescens, Klebsiella and Proteus mirabilis. The occurrence of Gram-negative folliculitis should be considered in acne patients in whom oral treatment with tetracyclines has not resulted in a significant improvement of acne lesions after 3–6 months’ treatment. The occurrence of Gram-negative folliculitis in acne patients is believed to be generally underestimated, since correct sampling and bacteriology is rarely performed by clinicians. Gram-negative folliculitis in acne and rosacea patients is best treated with isotretinoin (0.5–1 mg/kg daily for 4–5 months).

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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Roland Böni.

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Böni, R., Nehrhoff, B. Treatment of Gram-Negative Folliculitis in Patients with Acne. Am J Clin Dermatol 4, 273–276 (2003).

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  • Acne
  • Isotretinoin
  • Rosacea
  • Antibacterial Treatment
  • Pyoderma