How to treat Alopecia Mucinosa


Alopecia Mucinosa is an abnormal accumulation of a normal substance, mucin, in hair bearing skin. For some unknown reason (thought to be related to our immune system) cells in the hair follicle produce an abnormal amount of mucin, causing a variety of skin lesions including hair loss and scarring.

Alopecia Mucinosa is most commonly found either in children, or adults in their 30’s and 40’s. The adult form tends to have more skin lesions and be last longer than the form typically found in children. A variety of treatments have been tried with some success but most lesions resolve within months to two years.

Urticaria-like follicular mucinosis is very rare. It usually occurs in middle aged men on the head and neck. Red lesions are often seen and hair loss is rare. The disease can last for years and may resolve on its own. It is not thought to be associated with any systemic diseases.

Follicular mucinosis may also be found in connection with lymphomas of the skin. Alopecia mucinosis is distinguished from lymphoma related follicular mucinosis by microscopic evaluation and gene rearrangement studies.

Can Alopecia Mucinosa be treated?

No proven cure exists for alopecia mucinosa, although several treatments are routinely used. Treatments include topical corticosteroids, ultraviolet A light (PUVA) therapy, topical nitrogen mustard and radiation therapy have demonstrated some success. Isolated cases document the beneficial responses of dapsone, indomethacin, and interferons. Because of the sporadic and recurrent nature of alopecia mucinosa, the effectiveness of one particular solution is difficult to prove.

Scalp Micropigmentation cannot offer a cure for alopecia mucinosa, but in many cases it can effectively camouflage its effects. The technique is routinely used to hide other forms of alopecia such as areata, totalis and traction. Whether or not SMP is suitable for mucinosa must be assessed on a case by case basis as it will largely depend on the condition of the scalp skin.

In order to establish whether or not SMP could be a viable option in your particular case, a consultation will be required. To arrange this, please feel free to contact us.

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