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congenital triangular alopecia

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Congenital triangular alopecia

Congenital triangular alopecia is a patch of hair loss in the temple area of the scalp found mainly in very young children anytime from birth up to 5 years of age. The affected area is probably present from birth, but because hair growth can be sparse in newborns it can be some months or even years before it becomes significantly noticeable. The affected area is often roughly triangular shaped but may be oval in some individuals. The affected skin contains mostly vellus hair follicles or no hair follicles at all.

The cause of congenital triangular alopecia is not known, but its presence is not usually associated with any adverse disease state. Affected individuals are typically entirely healthy. The suggested frequency for this condition in the general population is around 0.11% (Garciahernandez 1995). The hair loss is non-progressive and does not expand beyond these areas. It is a non-inflammatory, non-scarring form of hair loss easily confused with alopecia areata. In one report the condition was incorrectly believed by the parents to be induced by doctors inserting intravenous cannulas into scalp vessels during the neonatal period (Armstrong 1996). The condition is permanent and the affected skin does not change later in life.

There is no treatment other than to graft hair follicles to the affected area. Alternatively, if the affected area is small in size, the affected patch of skin can be surgically removed and the edges sown together.


Congenital triangular alopecia references

  • Garcia-Hernandez MJ, Rodriguez-Pichardo A, Camacho F. Congenital triangular alopecia (Brauer nevus). Pediatr Dermatol. 1995 Dec;12(4):301-3.
  • Trakimas C, Sperling LC, Skelton HG 3rd, Smith KJ, Buker JL. Clinical and histologic findings in temporal triangular alopecia. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1994 Aug;31(2 Pt 1):205-9.
  • Kim HJ, Park KB, Yang JM, Park SH, Lee ES. Congenital triangular alopecia in phakomatosis pigmentovascularis: report of 3 cases. Acta Derm Venereol. 2000 May;80(3):215-6.
  • Ruggieri M, Rizzo R, Pavone P, Baieli S, Sorge G, Happle R. Temporal triangular alopecia in association with mental retardation and epilepsy in a mother and daughter. Arch Dermatol. 2000 Mar;136(3):426-7.
  • Trakimas CA, Sperling LC. Temporal triangular alopecia acquired in adulthood. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999 May;40(5 Pt 2):842-4.
  • Kenner JR, Sperling LC. Pathological case of the month. Temporal triangular alopecia and aplasia cutis congenita. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998 Dec;152(12):1241-2.
  • Armstrong DK, Burrows D. Congenital triangular alopecia. Pediatr Dermatol. 1996 Sep-Oct;13(5):394-6.
  • Bargman H. Congenital triangular alopecia. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1988 Feb;18(2 Pt 1):390.
  • Tosti A. Congenital triangular alopecia. Report of fourteen cases. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 May;16(5 Pt 1):991-3.
  • Bargman H. Congenital temporal triangular alopecia. Can Med Assoc J. 1984 Nov 15;131(10):1253-4.
  • Feuerman EJ. Congenital temporal triangular alopecia. Cutis. 1981 Aug;28(2):196-7.
  • Kubba R, Rook A. Congenital triangular alopecia. Br J Dermatol. 1976 Dec;95(6):657-9.
  • Shelley WB. Letter: Triangular hair patch as sign of alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol. 1974 Jan;109(1):102.
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