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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2001 December;136(6):427-34

language: Italian

Autoimmune cicatricial alopecias

Chieregato C., Rosina P., Zini A., Magnanini M., Barba A., Chieregato G.

Università degli Studi - Verona Sezione di Dermatologia e Venereologia Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Chirurgiche


Cicatricial alopecias are acquired permanent diseases of the scalp characterized by atrophic and fibrosclerotic sequelae that accompany and follow the destruction of hair follicles due to inflammatory processes primarily involving the follicles or the adjacent skin. The main causes are physical, chemical, metabolic, infectious, neoplastic and autoimmune. The autoimmune cicatricial alopecias are the majority of the acquired cicatricial alopecias. Discoid lupus eythematosus and Lichen Plano-pilaris are 60-80% of these forms. Less frequent varieties are bullous pemphigoid of Brusting-Perry, Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus, Scleroderma en coupe de sabre and Dermatomiositis. The clinical heterogeneous group of autoimmune diseases is characterized by an apparently spontaneous onset of the condition, with exacerbations and remissions, by a familial predisposition, association with typical HLA aplotypes, increased frequency in the feminine gender and by some clinical and serologic association among the various forms. The identification of these signs in an early stage of the disease allows the physician to start a therapy that usually may stop the progression. Herein the main clinical and histological characteristics of autoimmune diseases that may be associated with cicatricial alopecias are reported. Furthermore, the diagnostic tools are evaluated and the often difficult differential diagnosis between autoimmune diseases and other causes of cicatricial alopecias is dis- cussed.

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