[Lichen planopilaris simulating postmenopausal frontal fibrosing alopecia (Kossard)]

Hautarzt. 1998 May;49(5):388-91. doi: 10.1007/s001050050760.
[Article in German]


A 68-year old woman presented with a frontal fibrosing alopecia and lesions of the buccal mucous membranes typical for lichen planus. Postmenopausal frontal fibrosing alopecia (PFFA) has recently been described by Kossard as a distinct entity characterized by progressive recession of the frontotemporal and parietal hair margins leading to permanent alopecia in the form of a symmetrical band-like area of scanning in postmenopausal women. The histology (perifollicular lymphocytic infiltration and fibrosis, increase of apoptosis of hair follicle keratinocytes) is indistinguishable from that of lichen planopilaris. The localization and age- and sex-related characteristics of PFFA are not sufficient to delineate it as a discrete entity from lichen planopilaris. Our observation of oral lichen planus in a postmenopausal woman with frontal fibrosing alopecia points to the possibility that PFFA actually may represent a variant of lichen planopilaris with a predilection for the frontotemporal hairline. Other variants of lichen planopilaris include multifocal lichen planopilaris, disseminated lichen planopilaris (Lassueur-Graham-Little syndrome), lichenoid pseudopelade, and any combination of these ("mixed type"). An effective therapy of PFFA is not known. Also, treatment of lichen planopilaris forms in which fibrosis predominates over inflammation is similarly problematic, but the natural course of these diseases seems to be self-limited.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alopecia / diagnosis*
  • Alopecia / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Hair Follicle / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus / diagnosis*
  • Lichen Planus / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause*
  • Scalp / pathology