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Concept: Conditions of the skin appendages


Over the last few years, dermoscopy has been shown to be a useful tool in assisting the noninvasive diagnosis of various general dermatological disorders. In this article, we sought to provide an up-to-date practical overview on the use of dermoscopy in general dermatology by analysing the dermoscopic differential diagnosis of relatively common dermatological disorders grouped according to their clinical presentation, i.e. dermatoses presenting with erythematous-desquamative patches/plaques (plaque psoriasis, eczematous dermatitis, pityriasis rosea, mycosis fungoides and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus), papulosquamous/papulokeratotic dermatoses (lichen planus, pityriasis rosea, papulosquamous sarcoidosis, guttate psoriasis, pityriasis lichenoides chronica, classical pityriasis rubra pilaris, porokeratosis, lymphomatoid papulosis, papulosquamous chronic GVHD, parakeratosis variegata, Grover disease, Darier disease and BRAF-inhibitor-induced acantholytic dyskeratosis), facial inflammatory skin diseases (rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, discoid lupus erythematosus, sarcoidosis, cutaneous leishmaniasis, lupus vulgaris, granuloma faciale and demodicidosis), acquired keratodermas (chronic hand eczema, palmar psoriasis, keratoderma due to mycosis fungoides, keratoderma resulting from pityriasis rubra pilaris, tinea manuum, palmar lichen planus and aquagenic palmar keratoderma), sclero-atrophic dermatoses (necrobiosis lipoidica, morphea and cutaneous lichen sclerosus), hypopigmented macular diseases (extragenital guttate lichen sclerosus, achromic pityriasis versicolor, guttate vitiligo, idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, progressive macular hypomelanosis and postinflammatory hypopigmentations), hyperpigmented maculopapular diseases (pityriasis versicolor, lichen planus pigmentosus, Gougerot-Carteaud syndrome, Dowling-Degos disease, erythema ab igne, macular amyloidosis, lichen amyloidosus, friction melanosis, terra firma-forme dermatosis, urticaria pigmentosa and telangiectasia macularis eruptiva perstans), itchy papulonodular dermatoses (hypertrophic lichen planus, prurigo nodularis, nodular scabies and acquired perforating dermatosis), erythrodermas (due to psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, mycosis fungoides, pityriasis rubra pilaris and scabies), noninfectious balanitis (Zoon’s plasma cell balanitis, psoriatic balanitis, seborrheic dermatitis and non-specific balanitis) and erythroplasia of Queyrat, inflammatory cicatricial alopecias (scalp discoid lupus erythematosus, lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia and folliculitis decalvans), nonscarring alopecias (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium) and scaling disorders of the scalp (tinea capitis, scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and pityriasis amiantacea).

Concepts: Systemic lupus erythematosus, Lupus erythematosus, Autoimmune diseases, Immunosuppressive drug, Eczema, Psoriasis, Conditions of the skin appendages, Discoid lupus erythematosus


The characteristic lesion of alopecia areata is a smooth bald patch on the scalp. When there is no bald surface it is called alopecia areata incognita. To date, all cases of alopecia areata reported as so-called ‘incognito’ have shown a diffuse involvement of the scalp as in acute telogen effluvium. Recently, we have observed two patients who showed localised hair thinning of the scalp without bald spots. Histopathologically, the lesions were typical of alopecia areata with peribulbar lymphocytic infiltrates. The response to corticosteroid treatment and its clinical course were also compatible with alopecia areata.

Concepts: Anatomical pathology, Corticosteroid, Ablative brain surgery, Lesion, Baldness, Alopecia areata, Conditions of the skin appendages, Telogen effluvium


Nail psoriasis is common, occurring in up to half of patients with psoriasis and in 90% of patients with psoriatic arthritis. Left untreated, it may progress to debilitating nail disease, which leads to significant functional impairment. The most common clinical signs of nail psoriasis are nail plate pitting and onycholysis. Other classical signs include oil drop discoloration, subungual hyperkeratosis, and splinter hemorrhages. The modified Nail Psoriasis Severity Index (mNAPSI) can be used to grade the severity of nail psoriasis, while the Nail Psoriasis Quality of Life Scale (NPQ10) is a questionnaire that evaluates the impact of nail psoriasis on the patient’s functional status and quality of life. Treatment of nail psoriasis should be individualized according to the patient’s preferences, severity of nail changes, and presence of skin and/or joint involvement. Both topical and intralesional therapies are safe and effective treatment modalities for nail disease, but are limited by poor adherence and pain, respectively. Systemic therapy such as oral retinoids may be considered for widespread nail disease causing significant morbidity. Among biologic agents, tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors and T-cell-targeted therapies such as ustekinumab may be useful for refractory severe nail psoriasis.

Concepts: Patient, Psoriatic arthritis, Psoriasis, Onychomycosis, Nail, Nail disease, Conditions of the skin appendages, Psoriatic nails


Hypertrichosis is defined as an excessive growth in body hair beyond the normal variation compared with individuals of the same age, race and sex and affecting areas not predominantly androgen-dependent. The term hirsutism is usually referred to patients, mainly women, who show excessive hair growth with male pattern distribution.Hypertrichosis is classified according to age of onset (congenital or acquired), extent of distribution (generalized or circumscribed), site involved, and to whether the disorder is isolated or associated with other anomalies. Congenital hypertrichosis is rare and may be an isolated condition of the skin or a component feature of other disorders. Acquired hypertrichosis is more frequent and is secondary to a variety of causes including drug side effects, metabolic and endocrine disorders, cutaneous auto-inflammatory or infectious diseases, malnutrition and anorexia nervosa, and ovarian and adrenal neoplasms. In most cases, hypertrichosis is not an isolated symptom but is associated with other clinical signs including intellective delay, epilepsy or complex body malformations.A review of congenital generalized hypertrichosis is reported with particular attention given to the disorders where excessive diffuse body hair is a sign indicating the presence of complex malformation syndromes. The clinical course of a patient, previously described, with a 20-year follow-up is reported.

Concepts: Hirsutism, Conditions of the skin appendages


Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, affects approximately 50% of the adult population and can cause poor self-image, low self-esteem and have a significant negative impact on the quality of life. An oral nutraceutical supplement based on a marine complex formulation has previously been reported to significantly increase the number of terminal hairs in women with thinning hair.

Concepts: Alopecia, Baldness, Androgenic alopecia, Conditions of the skin appendages, Baldness treatments, Minoxidil


Primary Cicatricial Alopecias (PCAs) are a group of skin diseases in which there is progressive and permanent destruction of hair follicles followed by replacement with fibrous tissue. Unfortunately, by the time patients seek clinical evaluation of their hair loss, the skin is already inflamed and/or scarred, so there is little hope for a return to their normal hair growth pattern. Clinical and basic science investigations are now focusing on three forms of human PCA, lichen planopilaris (LPP), frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA), and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA). Transcriptome, lipidome, and other new technologies are providing new insight into the pathogenesis of some of these diseases that are being validated and further investigated using spontaneous and genetically engineered mouse models. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Medicine, Chemotherapy, Skin, All rights reserved, Hair follicle, Copyright, Conditions of the skin appendages, Traction alopecia


Primary scarring alopecia (PSA) is caused by irreversible damage to the hair epithelial stem cells that reside in hair follicles. There is limited published work regarding PSA amongst the Asian population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features and to characterize the subtypes of PSA in southern Taiwan. In this retrospective case series, we reviewed 89 patients with pathology-confirmed PSA. The data was collected from National Cheng Kung University Hospital between 1988 through 2016. The clinical and histological data were reviewed, and the patients were characterized into different subtypes of PSA based on the clinical features and histological findings. We noted seven different subtypes of PSA. The most common type was dissecting cellulitis (DC) (30.3%), followed by lichen planopilaris (LPP) (23.5%), central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) (12.4%) and acne keloidalis nuchae (AKN) (12.4%). The other subtypes include folliculitis decalvans (FD), discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and pseudopelade of Brocq (PPB). Interestingly, FD, DC and AKN were more common in males, while CCCA, LPP, DLE and PPB had a female predominance. The mean age of patients with DLE, DC and AKN were younger, while patients with CCCA, LPP, PPB and FD tend to be older. The pattern of hair loss was more likely to be unifocal-ragged border in CCCA and DLE, multifocal-interconnected in LPP and FD, and multifocal-separated in DC. The pathogenesis of PSA may be influenced by sex, age and genetic background. It is important to identify the hair loss pattern to differentiate the subtypes of PSA.

Concepts: Systemic lupus erythematosus, Lupus erythematosus, Conditions of the skin appendages, Cicatricial alopecia


Nail changes are a common feature of alopecia areata (AA) and are a significant source of cosmetic disfigurement and functional impairment. This review provides an update of the prevalence, clinical and histopathological features, pathogenesis, differential diagnosis, clinical course, prognosis, and management of nail changes in patients with AA. Searches for peer-reviewed journal articles were conducted using the PubMed/MEDLINE database with the search terms “nail changes alopecia areata,” “alopecia areata nails,” and specific searches on “trachyonychia alopecia areata” and “pitting alopecia areata.” Other sources of articles included the reference lists of retrieved articles. Nail changes are a common feature of AA, with an average prevalence of 30%, and can cause significant disfigurement and loss of function. Pitting and trachyonychia were by far the most common manifestations of AA, with an average prevalence of 20 and 8%, respectively. Red spotted lunulae, onycholysis, and punctate leukonychia were other reported findings. Other etiologies, such as onychomycosis or lichen planus, may coexist with or confound the diagnosis. There is limited published data on the clinical manifestations of AA-associated nail changes and therapeutic options. Larger controlled trials are necessary to guide treatment decisions.

Concepts: Pathology, Medical diagnosis, Peer review, Differential diagnosis, Nail, Alopecia areata, Conditions of the skin appendages, Leukonychia


Naked hair shafts (NHS) are free-floating hair shafts devoid of surrounding epithelium, supporting structures, and/or embedded in inflammation that may result from destruction of hair follicles by scarring processes such as inflammation and fibroplasia. Extensive examination of NHS has not been performed in scalp biopsies of alopecia. We retrospectively evaluated 622 scalp biopsies of alopecia [345 cicatricial alopecias (central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, lichen planopilaris, discoid lupus erythematosus, acne keloidalis nuchae, and folliculitis decalvans] and 277 non-cicatricial alopecias [alopecia areata, androgenic alopecia, telogen effluvium, and psoriatic alopecia)] for the presence of NHS. NHS occurred in 0.72% (2/277) of non-cicatricial alopecias (1/102 of alopecia areata, 1/150 of androgenic alopecia, 0/17 of telogen effluvium, and 0/8 of psoriatic alopecia) and 20% (72/345) of cicatricial alopecias (27/118 of central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, 29/109 of lichen planopilaris, 2/75 of discoid lupus erythematosus, 11/16 of acne keloidalis nuchae, and 3/27 of folliculitis decalvans). The presence of NHS was significantly increased in cicatricial alopecias in comparison with non-cicatricial alopecias; P value <0.0001. Among the cicatricial alopecias, 26% (92/345) had mild inflammation and/or fibrosis, of which 9% (9/92) had NHS. There were 73% (253/345) that had moderate to severe inflammation and/or fibrosis, of which 24% (63/253) had NHS, indicating that as the severity of inflammation and fibrosis increases, so does the presence of NHS. NHS rarely occurs in non-cicatricial alopecias. This variation may result from destruction of hair follicles by the inflammatory and scarring processes. The presence of NHS may be a useful adjunctive histopathologic feature in the diagnosis of cicatricial alopecia.

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Lupus erythematosus, Glomerulonephritis, Immunosuppressive drug, Conditions of the skin appendages


Alopecia is a common disease affecting more than half of the world total number of people. Alopecia exists in different types, but one of the most common of these types is the Androgenic Alopecia which has affected approximately 51% of the total number of males ranging between the age bracket of 40 years and 75 years. This type of alopecia is more common in females who are above the age of 65 years and above. Despite this widespread effect, much has not been done regarding identifying the possible drugs for treating this disease. At present, there exist only two possible medications that have been scientifically approved to cure this disease, include finasteride and minoxidil. Also, another possible form of treatment has been the case of hair transplantation. Despite the new possible treatment options available for treatment of different types of hair loss, there is a need for the invention for more efficient management and treatment options that are less costly, environmentally friendly, and most importantly human consumption friendly. Due to the recent evaluation that low-level laser therapy stimulated hair growth. This systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine whether the use of low-level laser therapy is an effective therapy for treatment of the Androgenic alopecia and also to some degree we reviewed the level of the patient’s satisfaction. Some earlier studies had shown that the use of low-level laser therapy stimulated the hair growth when mice were treated with chemotherapy which was induced by the alopecia and also the other type of alopecia called alopecia areata. The researchers hypothesized that the primary mechanism of treating Androgenic alopecia to be the stimulation of the epidermal stem cells which are in the hair follicle making them bulge and shift the follicles into the anagen phase.

Concepts: Medicine, Chemotherapy, Hair follicle, Alopecia, Baldness, Androgenic alopecia, Alopecia areata, Conditions of the skin appendages