Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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  Table of Contents  
PHOTOFEATURE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 192-193
 

Alopecia syphilitica


1 Department of Dermatology, Pingtung Christian Hospital, Pingtung, Taiwan
2 Department of Dermatology, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital; Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Date of Web Publication23-Oct-2017

Correspondence Address:
Chieh-Shan Wu
No. 386, Dazhong 1st Rd., Zuoying Dist., Kaohsiung City 81362
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijstd.IJSTD_92_16

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   Abstract 


Alopecia syphilitica is a less common manifestation of secondary syphilis. It could present with other mucocutaneous symptoms of secondary syphilis or rarely present as the only symptom of secondary syphilis, the so-called “essential syphilitic alopecia.” Herein, we present a case of essential syphilitic alopecia to remind physicians, especially for sexually active patients.


Keywords: Alopecia, alopecia syphilitica, secondary syphilis


How to cite this article:
Chiu HH, Wu CS. Alopecia syphilitica. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2017;38:192-3

How to cite this URL:
Chiu HH, Wu CS. Alopecia syphilitica. Indian J Sex Transm Dis [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 18];38:192-3. Available from: http://www.ijstd.org/text.asp?2017/38/2/192/217000




A 33-year-old male presented with hair loss for about 6 weeks. On physical examination, the skin of scalp is normal. Diffuse thinning of the hair on the right temporal scalp [Figure 1] and several small, patches of hair loss, compatible with “moth-eaten” alopecia, on the left temporal scalp [Figure 2] were noted. Laboratory evaluation revealed increased titers for rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test of 1:128 and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay test of >1:20480. The diagnosis of alopecia syphilitica was made and he was treated with single intramuscular injections of benzathine penicillin (2.4 million units). Two months later, RPR test decreased to 1:8 and alopecia improved. Alopecia syphilitica is a less common manifestation of secondary syphilis. It could present with other mucocutaneous symptoms of secondary syphilis or rarely present as the only symptom of secondary syphilis, the so-called “essential syphilitic alopecia.” The latter is easily misdiagnosed. Physicians should keep the diagnosis of alopecia syphilitica in mind, especially in a sexually active patient.
Figure 1: Diffuse thinning of the hair on the right temporal scalp

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Figure 2: Several small, patches of hair loss, compatible with “moth-eaten” alopecia, on the left temporal scalp

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Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.




    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]



 

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