Trichostasis Spinulosa

Updated: Jan 31, 2017
  • Author: Nicholas V Nguyen, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Overview

Background

In trichostasis spinulosa (TS), clusters of vellus hairs become embedded within hair follicles, with resultant dark, spiny papules on the face or trunk. Trichostasis spinulosa frequently is discovered as an incidental finding, and often it is confused with keratosis pilaris or acne comedones.

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Pathophysiology

Trichostasis spinulosa results from successive production and retention of vellus telogen club hairs from a single hair matrix in a follicle. Hyperkeratosis plugs the follicle and results in the retention of the vellus hairs in the obstructed follicular infundibulum. The precise cause of this phenomenon remains undetermined.

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Epidemiology

Frequency

To the authors' knowledge, studies of prevalence have not been undertaken, but published reports indicate that the condition is common, especially in elderly persons.

Sex

Most reports state that trichostasis spinulosa more frequently affects male patients, but it may occur equally in men and women.

Age

Rarely, cases are reported in children, but the condition nearly always occurs in adults, especially older adults.

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Prognosis

Trichostasis spinulosa (TS) persists and remains medically inconsequential; however, the condition may become more severe with age. Trichostasis spinulosa is primarily a cosmetic concern. Trichostasis spinulosa does not cause morbidity.

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