Abstract Alopecia areata is fairly common and is easily recognized; yet recently published dermatologic textbooks disagree on numerous aspects of the disease, and journals reveal only a few investigative efforts. Most investigators agree that alopecia areata is a manifestation of microscopic inflammatory changes of the pilary unit, though clinical evidence of inflammation is rare. The most frequent form is the isolated, asymptomatic loss of hair from a circumscribed plaque, usually on the scalp, with regrowth in a few months. This benign form may develop gradually into more severe ones, eventuating sometimes in universal alopecia. Some involvement of the nails—pitting, ridging, increased friability, or shedding— occurs in many cases.8 Alopecia areata has been described as associated with diseases of the endocrine glands, various tension states and emotional shock, errors of refraction, vitiligo, and neurodermatitis, and as a result of reflex irritations from focal lesions such as dental abscesses and from traumatic References 1. Anderson, I. A.: Alopecia Areata: A Clinical Study , Brit Med J 2:1250-1252 ( (Dec 2) ) 1950.Crossref 2. Arnold, H. L., Jr.: Alopecia Areata: Prevalence in Japanese and Prognosis After Reassurance , AMA Arch Derm Syph 66:191-196 ( (Aug) ) 1952.Crossref 3. Basedow, C. A.: Quoted by Strandberg, J., in Jadassohn, J.: Handbuch der Haut und Geschlechtskrankheiten: vol 3. Haut und Innere Sekretion , Berlin: Julius Springer, 1929, p 21. 4. Becker, K. L.; Ferguson, R. H.; and McConahey, W. M.: The Connective-Tissue Diseases and Symptoms Associated With Hashimoto's Thyroiditis , New Eng J Med 268:277-280 ( (Feb 7) ) 1963.Crossref 5. Butterworth, T., and Strean, L. P.: Clinical Genodermatology , Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Company, 1962, p 92. 6. Greenberg, S. I.: Alopecia Areata: A Psychiatric Survey , AMA Arch Derm 72:454-457, 1955.Crossref 7. Irwin: Quoted by Greenberg, S. I.6 8. Klingmüller, G., and Reeh, E.: Nagelgrübchen und deren familiäre Häufungen bei der Alopecia areata , Arch Klin Exp Derm 201:574-580 ( (Nov) ) 1955.Crossref 9. Kugelman, T. P., and Lerner, A. B.: Albinism, Partial Albinism, and Vitiligo , Yale J Biol Med 33:407-414 ( (June) ) 1961. 10. Muller, S. A., and Brunsting, L. A.: Cataracts in Alopecia Areata, Report of Five Cases , Arch Derm 88:202 ( (Aug) ) 1963.Crossref 11. Orentreich, N.: Quoted by Baer, R. L., and Witten, V. H.: Yearbook of Dermatology and Syphilology , Chicago: The Yearbook Medical Publishers, Inc., 1957, p 245. 12. Rothman, S.: in discussion on Van Scott, E. J., and Ekel, T. M.: Geometric Relationship Between Matrix of Hair Bulb and Its Dermal Papilla in Normal and Alopecic Scalp , J Invest Derm 31: 287 ( (Nov) ) 1958. 13. Rothman, S.: in discussion on Stegmater, O. C.: Transplantation of Melanocytic Nevi Into Vitiliginous Skin , J Invest Derm 36:53 ( (Jan) ) 1961. 14. Sabouraud: Cited in Desaux, A.: Affections de la chevelure et du cuir chevelu , Paris: Masson & Cie, 1953, p 192. 15. Seelen, J. C.; Stolte, L. A. M.; Bakker, J. H. J.; and Verboom, E.: Alopecia Areata , Acta Endocr (Kobenhaven) 23:60-71 ( (Sept) ) 1956. 16. Walker, S. A., and Rothman, S.: Alopecia Areata: A Statistical Study and Consideration of Endocrine Influences , J Invest Derm 14:403-413 ( (June) ) 1950. 17. Winkelmann, R. K.: Alopecia Areata: Pituitary Function Assessed by Assay of Pituitary Gonadotropin in Urine , J Invest Derm 30:223-224 ( (May) ) 1958.
Archives of Dermatology – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 1, 1963