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).
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.
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.
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.
Androgenetic alopecia, known in men as male pattern baldness (MPB), is a very conspicuous condition that is particularly frequent among European men and thus contributes markedly to variation in physical appearance traits amongst Europeans. Recent studies have revealed multiple genes and polymorphisms to be associated with susceptibility to MPB. In this study, 50 candidate SNPs for androgenetic alopecia were analyzed in order to verify their potential to predict MPB. Significant associations were confirmed for 29 SNPs from chromosomes X, 1, 5, 7, 18 and 20. A simple 5-SNP prediction model and an extended 20-SNP model were developed based on a discovery panel of 305 males from various European populations fitting one of two distinct phenotype categories. The first category consisted of men below 50 years of age with significant baldness and the second; men aged 50 years or older lacking baldness. The simple model comprised the five best predictors: rs5919324 near AR, rs1998076 in the 20p11 region, rs929626 in EBF1, rs12565727 in TARDBP and rs756853 in HDAC9. The extended prediction model added 15 SNPs from five genomic regions that improved overall prevalence-adjusted predictive accuracy measured by area under the receiver characteristic operating curve (AUC). Both models were evaluated for predictive accuracy using a test set of 300 males reflecting the general European population. Applying a 65% probability threshold, high prediction sensitivity of 87.1% but low specificity of 42.4% was obtained in men aged <50 years. In men aged ≥50, prediction sensitivity was slightly lower at 67.7% while specificity reached 90%. Overall, the AUC=0.761 calculated for men at or above 50 years of age indicates these SNPs offer considerable potential for the application of genetic tests to predict MPB patterns, adding a highly informative predictive system to the emerging field of forensic analysis of externally visible characteristics.
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.
We present cases of localized alopecia on the vertex scalp of two girls after elaborate professional hairstyling marketed as the “Princess Package” at a major U.S. theme park. Localized alopecia followed pain, erythema, and delayed crusting due to necrosis of the scalp. The majority of the affected alopecic areas had evidence of regrowth at interval follow-up, but small areas of scarring alopecia remained. We propose that these cases represent a type of alopecia caused by a combination of pressure ischemia and acute traction alopecia.
Omeprazole significantly increases duodenal prostaglandin E2synthesis. Prostaglandins are involved in hair growth regulation: prostaglandin E2and prostaglandin F2alpha stimulate hair growth, and prostaglandin D2has an inhibitory effect. The use of omeprazole can cause acquired generalized hypertrichosis by increasing prostaglandin E2levels.
Folliculitis decalvans (FD) is a chronic inflammatory disease leading to scarring alopecia with poorly defined pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of markers associated with the activation of innate immune signals, such as inflammasome (NALP1 and NALP3), interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-8 and type I interferon (MxA). A retrospective monocentric study was conducted and included 17 patients with FD with available biopsies. Disease activity (stable vs. active) was defined clinically and histologically. Immunostaining was performed using antibodies directed against NALP1, NALP3, IL-1β, IL-8, and MxA on FD skin biopsies. Results were compared with normal controls and lichen planopilaris. Eleven patients had active disease and 6 had stable disease. NALP1, NALP3, and IL-1β expression were significantly increased in hair follicles in FD compared with controls and lichen planopilaris. This study highlights the predominant immune signal associated with inflammasome activation in FD, suggesting the use of IL-1β blockade in FD.
Alopecia areata (AA) is a T-cell mediated autoimmune hair loss condition with an estimated lifetime risk of 1.7%. It is characterized clinically by sudden-onset non-inflammatory hair loss that may occur at any site. The disease course is unpredictable with many patients experiencing spontaneous re-growth along with episodes of further loss. Unfortunately, around a fifth of patients presenting with patchy alopecia will progress to complete scalp (alopecia totalis (AT)) or scalp & body (alopecia universalis (AU)) hair loss from which spontaneous regrowth is rare (<10%). The adverse psychological consequences of AA include high rates of anxiety and depression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.