Trichoscopy in genetic hair shaft abnormalities

J Dermatol Case Rep. 2008 Jul 7;2(2):14-20. doi: 10.3315/jdcr.2008.1009.


Background: Diagnosis of hair shaft abnormalities is based on light microscopic examination of more than 50 plucked hairs. The aim of this study was to verify whether hair shaft abnormalities may be visualized by trichoscopy (hair and scalp videodermoscopy) and to analyze trichoscopic features of common genetic hair shaft dysplasias.

Method: Patients with known genetic hair shaft disorders were included into the study. Trichoscopy was performed with the use of Fotofinder II videodermoscope. Images performed at 20-fold and 70-fold magnification were analysed. In selected cases 160-fold magnification was used for better visualization of hair shafts.

Results: Our results show that characteristic light microscopy features of Netherton syndrome, monilethrix, woolly hair syndrome, pili torti, pili annulati and trichothiodystrophy may be visualized by trichoscopy.

Conclusion: Genetic hair shaft abnormalities may be diagnosed by trichoscopy in a single diagnostic session without the need of plucking or cutting them for diagnostic purposes.

Keywords: alopecia; dermoscopy; hair; trichoscopy; videodermoscopy.