Poliosis (whitening of the hair) may occur as a generalized or local change. The latter is termed poliosis circumscripta.


The white forelock is an example of poliosis circumscripta involving the scalp.


Conditions associated with poliosis circumscripta:

(1) familial occurrence of a forelock

(2) adjacent to a melanocytic lesion (nevus, blue nevus, malignant melanoma)

(3) adjacent to a neurofibroma

(4) associated with tuberous sclerosis

(5) localized inflammation

(6) piebaldism


If a patient shows poliosis circumscripta then it is important to examine the area for signs of an adjacent tumor.


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