The first two authors contributed equally to this work, and should be considered joint first authors.
Experimental dermatology •Original article
Investigation of the hair of patients with scalp psoriasis using atomic force microscopy
Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012
© The Author(s). CED © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology
Volume 37, Issue 2, pages 156–163, March 2012
How to Cite
Shin, M. K., Kim, K. S., Ahn, J.-J., Kim, N. I., Park, H.-K. and Haw, C.-R. (2012), Investigation of the hair of patients with scalp psoriasis using atomic force microscopy. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 37: 156–163. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2011.04212.x
Conflict of interest: none declared.
- Issue published online: 17 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012
- Accepted for publication 26 June 2011
Background. Psoriasis affects not only the soft keratin of the skin, but also hard keratin, such as nails and hair. However, few studies have described the changes induced in the hair of patients with psoriasis.
Aim. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM), we investigated the morphological property of hair samples taken from the scalp of patients with psoriasis.
Methods. Lesional and nonlesional hairs taken from 15 patients with scalp psoriasis were investigated. Hairs from 15 healthy adults were also examined as controls. Using AFM, surface images were taken of an area of 20 × 20 μm2, with 512 × 512 pixels and a scan speed of 0.8 lines/s.
Results. Pits were frequently seen in the hair shafts of patients with psoriasis, similar to those seen in their nail plates. Macropit number, scale thickness and surface roughness were all significantly increased in lesional hairs compared with both nonlesional and control hairs, and macropits and scale thickness were also increased in nonlesional hairs compared with control hairs.
Conclusions. The hair shafts of patients with scalp psoriasis exhibited the same macropits seen in their nails. Both lesional and nonlesional hairs had similar changes in morphological structure compared with controls. This supports the generalized nature of psoriasis, with changes in hair structure being analogous to the changes seen in skin and nails.