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July 1980

Occult Syringomas of Scalp Associated With Progressive Hair Loss

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(7):843-844. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640310113032

The odd, the queer, and the strange may not only be fascinating but instructive. This report suggests that clinically inapparent tumors of the sweat gland may exert a sort of territorial imperative with resultant clinical loss of hair.

Report of a Case  A 57-year-old woman had been receiving our care for the previous 22 years for an insidiously progressive diffuse loss of scalp hair. At the time of onset, the patient had had unusually luxuriant long blonde hair, and the loss was apparent only to her. She was in good health, the scalp and hair seemed clinically normal, and routine physical examination results were normal. Upper and lower bowel roentgenograms and laboratory study results (including chemical studies using an automated multiple analysis system; zinc, iron, triiodothyronine, thyroxine, and urine porphyrin determinations, and basophil count) were normal. Trials of low-dose dexamethasone (4 mg/day), liothyronine sodium (12.5 μg daily), and zinc sulfate

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