Hair Loss Pathology Identified in Pityriasis Versicolor Lesions

Hair loss, thinning within pityriasis lesions associated with Malassezia organism

TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pityriasis versicolor (PV) lesions may experience hair thinning and/or loss within the lesion, according to a study published online May 10 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Wedad Z. Mostafa, M.D., of the Kasr Al Ainy School of Medicine at Cairo University, and colleagues examined 39 patients with PV during a period of 11 months. Skin biopsies were taken from both lesional and nonlesional skin to verify and explore the underlying pathology of hair loss in PV.

The researchers found that hair loss and/or thinning within PV lesions most commonly occurred on the forearms, abdomen, neck, and beard area (in males only), and was seen in 61.5 percent of patients. In 46 percent of PV lesions there was evidence of basal hydropic degeneration, follicular degeneration, miniaturization, atrophy, plugging, and/or hair shaft absence, compared with only 20.5 percent of nonlesional biopsy samples. Hair loss within the PV lesions was associated with Malassezia organism presence within the hair follicle and/or stratum corneum.

"The current study describes for the first time to our knowledge hair thinning or loss in PV lesions and provides evidence on the underlying pathological changes in the hair follicles," the authors write.

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