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March 1985

Paraffinomas of the Scalp

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of California, Irvine, California College of Medicine, and the Dermatology Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, Long Beach.

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(3):382-385. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660030104029

• Four cases of scalp paraffinoma were seen in our clinics within the past year. This unusual condition results from intradermal injection of substances containing paraffin. The presence of paraffin in excised tissue was confirmed by thin-layer chromatography and infrared absorption spectrophotometry. Our patients received their treatments 35 to 42 years ago after responding to radio or newspaper advertisements that promised a cure for baldness. Two patients were initially observed with severe scalp inflammation and two were completely asymptomatic other than having lumpy scalps. Although these cases were readily diagnosed by history, eliminating other possibilities was greatly aided by use of xeroradiography, obviating the need for biopsy in asymptomatic cases.

(Arch Dermatol 1985;121:382-385)