Lipedematous alopecia is a rare disorder of uncertain etiology. It may be underdiagnosed.
Proposed mechanisms: hormonal, immune, lymphatic disorder
Early studies reported occurrence primarily in adult black females, but it can occur in both men and women of different races.
(1) thickening of the scalp with induration
(2) pruritis and/or pain in affected scalp
(3) patchy or diffuse non-scarring alopecia
(4) variable depigmentation
If alopecia is absent then the condition is termed lipedematous scalp.
(1) increased subcutaneous fat
(2) dermal edema
(3) ectatic lymphatics
Diagnosis requires exclusion of other causes, especially SLE.
Some patients have improved with mycophenolate mofetil therapy, suggesting an immune mechanism.
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