The role of scalp dermoscopy in the diagnosis of alopecia areata incognita

Antonella Tosti, David Whiting, Matilde Iorizzo, Massimiliano Pazzaglia, Cosimo Misciali, Colombina Vincenzi, Giuseppe Micali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Background: Alopecia areata incognita is a variety of alopecia areata characterized by acute diffuse shedding of telogen hairs without typical patches. Objective: We sought to report the clinical, pathological, and dermoscopic features of alopecia areata incognita. Methods: Seventy patients with alopecia areata incognita were evaluated clinically and with videodermoscopy during the period of 2002 to 2006. Pathology was performed in 50 patients. Results: The presence of numerous, diffuse, round or polycyclic yellow dots, different in size and uniform in color and distribution, was a typical dermoscopic feature in all patients. Short regrowing hairs were also present. The dermoscopic findings were correlated and supported by the histologic features of the scalp specimens. Limitations: Scalp biopsy was performed only in 50 patients. Conclusion: Videodermoscopy is a first step before performing a biopsy. It can help the clinician to find the right place to take the sample, but can also avoid unnecessary biopsies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-67
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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