Sarcoidal alopecia as a mimic of discoid lupus erythematosus

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Jul;59(1):143-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.02.014. Epub 2008 Apr 18.


Cicatricial alopecia presents a diagnostic challenge to clinicians. In particular, lesions of cutaneous sarcoidosis of the scalp may resemble discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). We report two cases of sarcoidal alopecia originally thought to represent DLE scarring plaques of the scalp. A subsequent histopathologic diagnosis of sarcoidal alopecia was made. These cases highlight the importance of making the correct diagnosis of sarcoidal alopecia versus DLE so that a patient can receive the correct work-up and definitive treatment. These cases illustrate the fact that there should be a low threshold for biopsy of cicatricial plaques on the scalp.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / etiology*
  • Biopsy
  • Burns, Chemical / complications
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / diagnosis
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoidosis / complications*
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoidosis / pathology
  • Scalp Dermatoses / complications*
  • Scalp Dermatoses / diagnosis*
  • Scalp Dermatoses / pathology