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Dermatology Online Journal

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Alopecia areata with white hair regrowth: case report and review of poliosis


Alopecia areata is thought to be a T-cell mediated and cytokine mediated autoimmune disease that results in non-scarring hair loss. Poliosis has been described as a localized depigmentation of hair caused by a deficiency of melanin in hair follicles. A 57-year-old man with a history of alopecia areata developed white hair regrowth in areas of previous hair loss. We retrospectively reviewed the medical literature using PubMed, searching: (1) alopecia areata and (2) poliosis. Poliosis may be associated with autoimmune diseases including alopecia areata, as described in our case. However, it is also reported in patients who have cutaneous lesions, genetic syndromes, infections, medication use, and trauma. Hair regrowth following alopecia areata may be associated with poliosis. We hypothesize that the incidence of poliosis in areas of previous alopecia areata-related hair loss may be greater than reflected in the published literature.

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