Scalp lesions

Written by: | Published:

Vitiligo

Due to hormonal changes and a genetic influence, male pattern baldness affects most men at some stage in their lives. Conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone causes the hair follicles to shrink. Approximately half of men aged 50 are balding. This man's alopecia made the patch of vitiligo on his scalp quite obvious. Hairs from the affected areas would have been white or grey if still present. The cause of vitiligo is unknown but is thought to be a systemic autoimmune disorder with a genetic influence. It can affect any part of the body. Melanocytes are destroyed so they cannot produce melanin. The skin pales and is at greater risk of sunburn and cutaneous malignancies. The diagnosis is a clinical one but thyroid function and an autoantibody screen should help to assess the potential for other autoimmune diseases. If treated in the early stages with a topical corticosteroid cream, a calcineurin inhibitor or phototherapy can be helpful but when fully established, cosmetic camouflage can mask the pale skin. Occasionally surgery or skin grafting is considered.

Sun damage


Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.


What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.