[Skip to Navigation]
September 1981

Immunofluorescence Findings in Rapid Whitening of Scalp Hair

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Indiana University, Indianapolis (Dr Guin); Immunofluorescent Testing Service, Buffalo (Dr Kumar); and Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis (Dr Petersen).

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(9):576-578. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650090058028

• Rapid whitening of scalp hair developed during a three-month period along with a diffuse, subtotal alopecia in a patient. Immunofluorescence microscopy of biopsy material showed prominent deposits of IgG and IgM in a granular pattern in the epithelium of the lower portions of hair follicles. Some return of the color and amount of scalp hair occurred within a year, but occasional bouts of hair loss continued to occur. It is theorized that the rapid graying was caused by a selective loss of pigmented hair, which was perhaps caused by an immunologic mechanism. Some of the findings suggest that the cause of this patient's loss of hair color may be different from those of patients who have been previously described as having rapid whitening of scalp hair because of alopecia areata or vitiligo.

(Arch Dermatol 1981;117:576-578)

Add or change institution