Poliosis circumscripta unmasking a scalp melanoma

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Abstract

A 28-year-old man presented with a 1-year history of a localized patch of grey hair and an underlying darkly pigmented lesion on his right occipital area. Clinical appearance revealed poliosis overlying an asymmetrical plaque with variable degrees of brown pigmentation and white discolouration. Owing to the suspicious nature of the lesion, excision with a 2 mm margin was performed. Histology revealed an invasive melanoma with extensive regression and prominent involvement of multiple hair follicles. Scalp melanoma with associated poliosis is extremely rare, and has only been reported once in the literature to date. There have been two reports in the opthalmology literature regarding eyelash poliosis associated with orbital melanoma. The pathogenesis of poliosis still remains unclear. This is the second reported case of poliosis circmscripta unmasking a scalp melanoma, and highlights the importance of being vigilant when examining patients with poliosis of the scalp.

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