International Journal of Trichology

: 2020  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38--40

Boggy scalp

Ahu Yorulmaz1, Basak Yalcin1, Sibel Orhun2,  
1 Department of Dermatology, Ankara Bilkent City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of Pathology, Ankara Bilkent City Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Ahu Yorulmaz
Department of Dermatology, Ankara Bilkent City Hospital, Ankara

How to cite this article:
Yorulmaz A, Yalcin B, Orhun S. Boggy scalp.Int J Trichol 2020;12:38-40

How to cite this URL:
Yorulmaz A, Yalcin B, Orhun S. Boggy scalp. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Feb 6 ];12:38-40
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Full Text


A 45-year-old Caucasian woman presented to our outpatient clinic with a 6-year history of scalp tenderness and hair loss. She was otherwise healthy except for a history of urolithiasis. A dermatological examination revealed diffuse nonscarring alopecia over frontoparietal and vertex regions [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. On palpation, the scalp was midly tender and a soft, spongy swelling was present [Figure 3]. The hair pull test and trichogram findings were normal. Histology of a lesional skin biopsy revealed mild perifollicular fibrosis, dilated lymphatics, thickening of collagen bundles, increased subcutaneous adipose tissue, and mild mucin deposition [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}{Figure 6}{Figure 7}

 What Is Your Diagnosis?


Lipedematous alopecia.


Lipedematous alopecia (LA) is an extremely rare disease, which is characterized by thickened and boggy scalp accompanied by nonscarring alopecia. Up to now, a limited number of cases have been described in the literature, of whom a significant percent are women of African American descent. LA and lipedematous scalp are considered as the two spectra of the same condition. It was Coskey who first coined the term “lipedematous alopecia' to define two cases of “an increase in the thickness of the subcutaneous layer of the scalp and inability to grow hairs longer than 2 cm.”[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

In the literature, the reports of LA are so rare that the data about LA are limited. However, since LA most commonly affects women of African-American descent, it has been suggested that racial and hormonal factors play the primary roles in the etiopathogenesis of this unique condition. Although the underlying mechanisms do not seem to be related with lymphatic or venous insufficiency, some authors have suggested that lymphatic vessel dilation could be responsible for LA. The main histopathological finding in LA is the increased scalp thickness resulting from expansion of the subcutaneous fat layer in the absence of adipose tissue hypertrophy or hyperplasia.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1González-Guerra E, Haro R, Angulo J, Del Carmen Fariña M, Martín L, Requena L. Lipedematous alopecia: An uncommon clinicopathologic variant of nonscarring but permanent alopecia. Int J Dermatol 2008;47:605-9.
2Accaputo O, White JM, Kolivras A, Sadeghi N, Berlingin E, del Marmol V. Lipedematous alopecia: Clinical, histopathological, and trichoscopic findings of a single case and review of the literature. Case Rep Dermatol 2019;11:7-15.
3Chen E, Patel R, Pavlidakey P, Huang CC. Presentation, diagnosis, and management options of lipedematous alopecia. JAAD Case Rep 2019;5:108-9.
4Fair KP, Knoell KA, Patterson JW, Rudd RJ, Greer KE. Lipedematous alopecia: A clinicopathologic, histologic and ultrastructural study. J Cutan Pathol 2000;27:49-53.
5Sahu P, Sangal B, Dayal S, Kumar S. Lipedematous scalp with varied presentations: A case series of four patients. Indian Dermatol Online J 2019;10:571-3.