Erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp: Clinical, trichoscopic, and histopathologic features of 20 cases

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Abstract

Background

Erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp is a chronic eruption that leads to scarring alopecia.

Objective

The clinical, dermoscopic, and histopathological features and the course of the disease in 20 patients were reviewed and compared with the reports in the literature.

Methods

Gender, age at diagnosis, age at onset, duration, topography, predisposing factors, concomitant diseases, trichoscopy, histology, treatment, and outcome were taken into consideration.

Results

The mean age was 59.4 years. Androgenetic alopecia was present in 12 patients, 6 of whom showed actinic damage. Trauma was reported in 9 patients. Four patients were affected by autoimmune disorders. The vertex was the most common location. In all 20 patients trichoscopy showed an absence of follicular ostia with skin atrophy. Histopathology revealed 3 different features, depending on the disease duration. A reduction of inflammatory signs was observed in 14 patients treated with topical steroids and in all 3 patients treated with topical tacrolimus 0.1%.

Limitations

The rarity of this disease is a limitation.

Conclusions

The relatively high number of patients allowed us to identify a better diagnostic approach, using trichoscopy, and a more effective therapeutic strategy, with high-potency steroids or tacrolimus, which should be considered as first-line treatment.

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