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October 1958

Woolly Hair Nevus: Report of a Case

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Presbyterian Hospital.

AMA Arch Derm. 1958;78(4):488-489. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560100064010

In April, 1927, Dr. Fred Wise reported on "a peculiar form of birthmark of the hair of the scalp, hitherto undescribed, with report of two cases."1 With this report Wise originated the term woolly hair nevus. The case reports concerned two 5-year-old girls whose families were unrelated, both of whom showed light woolly hair on one portion of the scalp, while the rest of the hair was straight and brown. One of Wise's original cases showed a linear nevus of the skin of the back of the neck, right elbow, and wrist, ipsilaterally with the woolly hair on the scalp. Wise justifies the use of the term woolly hair nevus by stating that birthmarks of the hair are changes in the "color, consistency, structure, and morphology of the hair shaft."

The next report (Wise and Sulzberger) of a similar patient was of an adult male with kinky black

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