Alopecia Mucinosa Follow-up
- Author: Gervaise L Gerstner, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD more...
Further Outpatient Care
Close follow-up care with all patients is required.
Although the question of whether alopecia mucinosa is a transitional state evolving into mycosis fungoides is unresolved, it is proven that alopecia mucinosa may precede the development of mycosis fungoides by several years. Thus, additional biopsy specimens and extremely close follow-up care are crucial in all variants of alopecia mucinosa.
The prognosis of alopecia mucinosa depends on the specific clinical variant, as follows:
- Primary acute disease usually disappears within 2 years; however, childhood alopecia mucinosa is not always self-limited and may possibly be related to Hodgkin disease.
- Primary chronic disease usually lingers for several years, but it can fluctuate in the extent of skin involvement at any given time.
- Secondary alopecia mucinosa has the least favorable prognosis when associated with coexistent malignancy.
Mortality is related to the coexistence of mycosis fungoides in secondary alopecia mucinosa. An estimated 15-40% of adults with alopecia mucinosa will eventually develop lymphoma, if they do not already have it. The malignant potential of alopecia mucinosa cannot be fully assessed because of the enigmatic nature of this and other cutaneous T-cell abnormalities. The morbidity of primary alopecia mucinosa is generally restricted to cosmesis; whereas, in cases of secondary alopecia mucinosa, morbidity is related to the associated disease process.
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