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May 1989

A Morphometric and Histologic Study of the Scalp in Psoriasis: Paradoxical Sebaceous Gland Atrophy and Decreased Hair Shaft Diameters Without Alopecia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pathology (Drs Headington and Nickoloff) and Dermatology (Drs Gupta, Goldfarb, Ellis, and Voorhees and Mr Hamilton), The University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(5):639-642. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670170053007

• A histologic study was designed to evaluate the pilosebaceous unit of the scalp in nonpustular patch- and plaque-stage psoriasis. Punch biopsy specimens from involved and uninvolved areas of 28 patients were sectioned in a horizontal plane for qualitative and quantitative study. All samples were evaluated in a blind mode, and data were analyzed for statistical significance. There was no evidence for alopecia of any type. Sebaceous gland atrophy was a frequent concomitant in the psoriatic lesion, with probable down-sizing of the hair follicle and thinner hair shafts. Paradoxical sebaceous gland atrophy and down-sized hair follicles in psoriasis may be due to possible inhibiting effects of yet unidentified factors produced by the epidermal lesion.

(Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:639-642)

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