Tufted Hair Folliculitis

Updated: May 03, 2016
  • Author: Elizabeth CW Hughes, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Overview

Background

Tufted hair folliculitis is a rare, progressive pattern of scarring alopecia that affects the scalp. Its characteristic feature is the presence of groups of 10-15 hairs emerging from a single follicular opening. The cause of this disorder is unknown. Tufts of hair associated with scars have been described in association with several other forms of alopecia. It is probable that tufted hair folliculitis represents an advanced stage of follicular injury seen in several types of scarring alopecia.

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Pathophysiology

Tufted hair folliculitis affects hair follicles of the scalp. Biopsy specimens demonstrate convergence of follicular infundibula, with multiple hairs emerging from a single follicular opening, while the lower portions of the hair follicle are separate and unaffected by the scarring process. Staphylococcal organisms frequently are cultured from lesions of tufted hair folliculitis, but their role in pathogenesis is unclear. [1]

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Epidemiology

Frequency

Tufted hair folliculitis is rare.

Race

No racial predilection is recognized for tufted hair folliculitis.

Sex

No sex predilection is recognized for tufted hair folliculitis.

Age

Tufted hair folliculitis has been reported only in adults. It has been reported primarily in individuals in the fourth and fifth decades of life.

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Prognosis

Tufted hair folliculitis is a chronic condition. The patient may experience intermittent flares and periods of quiescence. Fortunately, morbidity is low and limited to local discomfort and cosmetic concerns. Mortality from tufted hair folliculitis has not been reported.

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