Saturday, November 15, 2008

Alopecia in a Child

This 11 yo boy has had this alopecic area since infancy. He has been with adoptive parents since he was a baby and his mother says this has been here since coming to live with her. At first, I thought this was a nevus sebaceous, but the scalp looks normal here with none of the raised "pebbly" surface seen in this disorders in older children.

My working diagnosis here is "Congenital Triangular Alopecia."

References: (supplied by Brian Maurer)
1. Elmer KB, George RM. Congenital triangular alopecia: a case report and review. Cutis. 2002 Apr;69(4):255-6.
Congenital triangular alopecia is a nonscarring loss of hair mass on the scalp's temporal regions. The area of hair diminution commonly is described as triangular or lancet shaped. Although previously considered congenital, this condition usually is noticed after 2 years of age and, more recently, is thought to be acquired. We propose that this entity be renamed triangular alopecia. Because this condition involves normal rather than inflamed skin, it does not respond to topical or intralesional steroids. It is important to make the correct diagnosis to avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful interventions. We present the case of a 10-year-old boy with triangular alopecia.

2. Congenital Triangular Alopecia occurring in sisters. Full Text. Original in Portugese

3. García-Hernández MJ, Rodríguez-Pichardo A, Camacho F. Congenital triangular alopecia (Brauer nevus). Pediatr Dermatol. 1995 Dec;12(4):301-3.Department of Medical-Surgical Dermatology and Venereology, Virgen Macarena University Hospital, Seville, Spain.
Abstract: Congenital triangular alopecia is manifested at 3 to 5 years of age by unilateral or, less frequently, bilateral patches of alopecia in the frontotemporal region. At this age the differential diagnosis is important, particularly as regards alopecia areata. Only about 47 cases have been reported, probably because the lesion is benign and nonprogressive. In 6200 patients seen in index visits, we found 7 with triangular alopecia, a frequency of 0.11%. We believe that males do not require treatment because of the later development of androgenic alopecia, but in women, surgical treatment is successful.2. Tosti A. Congenital triangular alopecia. Report of fourteen cases.

Tosti A. Congenital triangular alopecia. Report of fourteen cases. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 May;16(5 Pt 1):991-3.
Abstract: Fourteen patients affected by congenital triangular alopecia are presented. The clinical and histologic features of this condition are discussed. I suggest that the condition is considerably more common than hitherto has been thought.


  1. This is a congenital alopecia which is not uncommon problem among iraqi children.No effective treatment available apart from excision and suturing at the right time
    khalifa sharquie

  2. I agree with you that this is congenital triangular alopecia with a classical history and non inflammatory alopecia. I have seen a similar case a few years ago, discussed with a peds derm. Perhaps we can write up the case together. I think it is really rare.

  3. The possibility if tringlar alopecia for this child is more.however test for congenital syphilis should done to rule out the cause.thanks.

  4. I have seen such alopecia in indian children and have been attributing it to tonsure ceremony!
    Manish Pahwa


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