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Have developed a patch of white hair on the back of head. Have slight greying. White patch is concerning me?

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I have developed a patch of white hair about the size of 2x2 on back of my head behind right ear . I am 34 and slightly graying (hereditary) but this is a pure white patch and concerning me . Kindly advise
Posted Wed, 10 Jul 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 51 minutes later
Dear patient,

Thanks for your health concerns. Most likely, this is a benign finding called piebaldism, a localized form of albinism or lack of pigment production. The most common presentation is a "lock of white hair", but the eyelids, eyebrows can also be occasionally affected. It does not require particular treatment. You may want to attach a picture of the area or confirm with your local physician.

Truly yours,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have developed a patch of white hair on the back of head. Have slight greying. White patch is concerning me? 2 hours later
However, I do not see any loss of pigmentation in the skin under the hair. I have attached an image with a magnified portion from a second image inset. Kindly review. Does this contribute towards your earlier suggestion of 'piebaldism' ? Or are there other possibilities ?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 3 hours later
Dear XXXXXXX

Thanks for the image. Indeed, the round, well defined area of hypopigmentation seems most compatible with piebaldism. In piebaldism, the problem is that the melanocytes don't incorporate the pigment in the hair as they would do.

Truly yours,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have developed a patch of white hair on the back of head. Have slight greying. White patch is concerning me? 22 hours later
Thanks Dr Brenes-Salazar

In conclusion then, can you help me with the following questions:

---- Why did this happen suddenly at this age?
1. Is it a lack of some vitamins? If yes, which ones?
2. Is it any of the medication that I am currently taking? (Albuterol, Symbicort, Exforge)
3. Is it reversible ?
4. Is it cancerous? Or related to any other heal or brain abnormality that would turn into a bigger problem in the future ?
5. Will it spread? Will my appearance change like other piebaldism images on the internet where my skin or hair turns white in random places ?
6. Will this pass on to my two children or to my wife ?


Best Regards,
XXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 49 minutes later
XXXXXXX

thanks for the follow up queries

1) The age at which piebaldism occurs is variable. many times itis evident at birth but other times develops with time. The difference of why is not clear

2) unlikely to be related to vitamin defficiencies or medications you take

3) For the most part, it is not reversible. Some have tried UV light phototherapy but results not encouraging

4) not a precursor of cancer or systemic disease

5) the distribution can be variable as you saw in the images. most cases are localized but others are multifocal; uncertain if there will be progression

6) there is a genetic tendency for piebaldism but most cases are recessive meaning that if your wife is not a carrier of a mutation then chances are slim. It is not contagious
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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