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Field melanin mapping of the hairless scalp

Authors

  • Gérald E. Piérard,

    Corresponding author
    • Laboratory of Skin Bioengineering and Imaging, Department of Dermatopathology, University Hospital of Liège, Liège, Belgium
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  • Claudine Piérard-Franchimont,

    1. Laboratory of Skin Bioengineering and Imaging, Department of Dermatopathology, University Hospital of Liège, Liège, Belgium
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  • Pascale Quatresooz

    1. Laboratory of Skin Bioengineering and Imaging, Department of Dermatopathology, University Hospital of Liège, Liège, Belgium
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Address:

Gérald E. Piérard

Department of Dermatopathology

CHU Sart Tilman

B-4000 Liège

Belgium

Tel: +32 4 3662408

Fax: +32 4 3662976

e-mail: Gerald.pierard@ulg.ac.be

Abstract

Background

Mottled subclinical melanoderma (MSM) is frequently seen on facial skin using the ultraviolet light enhanced visualization (ULEV) method. The corresponding aspect on the hairless scalp remains unknown.

Objective

To explore the field distribution of melanin on the scalp of fair-skinned Caucasian subjects.

Method

The scalp was examined in 43 men with androgenic alopecia. The Visioscan® camera provided the ULEV pictures. Another optical (Visioface® Quick) device was used under white light illumination followed by colour contrast enhancement. This was reached after specific computer filtration of the cyan hue wavelengths.

Results

Under white light illumination, the scalp looked normal. MSM patterns were disclosed by both optical procedures as evenly scattered discrete patchy fields of hypermelanosis. The smaller rounded spots were restricted to the lips of the hair infundibula. Larger irregularly shaped spots predominated in the interfollicular areas. A few hypomelanotic spots were scattered over the scalp.

Conclusion

The present observations based on dual optical methods possibly provide information about a patterned pathobiology of melanocytes on the scalp. The spotty MSM pattern looked similar to the reported aspects on the face. It somewhat resembled the widespread PUVA-induced lentiginosis.

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