• Users Online: 6280
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-80

Congenital triangular alopecia of occipital scalp: A rare entity

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Date of Web Publication10-Jul-2018

Correspondence Address:
Naveen Kumar Kansal
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh - 249 203, Uttarakhand
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CDR.CDR_47_17

Rights and Permissions

Congenital triangular alopecia (CTA), a relatively less recognized condition of the scalp, presents as a localized nonscarring patch of alopecia. The condition is likely to be confused with more common diseases for example alopecia areata. Recently, a case of occipital CTA presented to us, whose parents had applied indigenous topical medicine to cure the lesion with resultant irritant reaction. The aim of our case report is to increase awareness of the condition so that unnecessary treatments may be avoided.

Keywords: Brauer nevus, congenital triangular alopecia, nonscarring alopecia, trichoscopy

How to cite this article:
Kansal NK, Chauhan P. Congenital triangular alopecia of occipital scalp: A rare entity. Clin Dermatol Rev 2018;2:78-80

How to cite this URL:
Kansal NK, Chauhan P. Congenital triangular alopecia of occipital scalp: A rare entity. Clin Dermatol Rev [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 May 17];2:78-80. Available from: https://www.cdriadvlkn.org/text.asp?2018/2/2/78/236343

  Introduction Top

Congenital triangular alopecia (CTA, also known as temporal triangular alopecia, Brauer nevus or hypotrichotic nevus) is a localized, nonscarring form of alopecia typically affecting the frontotemporal region and less commonly the temporoparietal scalp. Very few cases of CTA are reported on the occipital scalp. CTA can develop at birth or later in childhood as a triangular, oval- or lancet-shaped, nonprogressive patch of alopecia.[1] We report a case of 2-year-old child who presented with a single patch of hair loss over the occiput since birth.

  Case Report Top

A 2-year-old male child presented with a single fixed area of hair loss over the occipital scalp, which was present since birth. It was asymptomatic and nonprogressive in nature. The parents gave a history of topical application of some ayurvedic indigenous medication a week back which was followed by redness over the lesion and surrounding area. There was no history of absence of skin over the patch at birth. On examination, a single lancet-shaped 3 cm × 2 cm patch of nonscarring alopecia was present over occipital scalp [Figure 1]. Erythema and scaling were noted over the patch. Few vellus hairs were also present within the patch. There were no exclamation mark hairs. Trichoscopy could not be performed as child was very irritable. The presence of the lesion since birth, relative fixity of the size, shape of the lesion without any exclamation mark hairs led to a clinical diagnosis of CTA. The parents were counseled regarding the poor chances of hair growth with any topical treatment and to consider hair transplantation when the child grows.
Figure 1: Single lancet-shaped, 3 cm × 2 cm size alopecic patch, with erythema and scaling, overlying the occipital scalp

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

As already stated, CTA usually affects the frontotemporal, or less commonly the temporoparietal scalp. However, about 2.5% of cases present with the area of alopecia overlying the occipital scalp.[1] Although termed as “congenital,” CTA usually manifests after the age of 2–3 years or later as the surrounding nonaffected vellus hair are gradually replaced by terminal hair.[1] The condition appears to be quite rare, and since the first description of CTA in 1905, only 128 cases of this entity have been reported in literature till now.[1],[2],[3] To the best of the authors' search, only two cases of occipital CTA have been reported in literature [Table 1].[1],[4],[5] However, this “rarity” of the disorder has been questioned earlier as well [6] and certainly may be due to relative lack of awareness.[3]
Table 1: Characteristics of reported occipital congenital triangular alopecia cases

Click here to view

The diagnosis of CTA remains essentially clinical, depending on its location, appearance, and stability of the alopecia. More recently, trichoscopy (using a dermatoscope) has proved to be a useful diagnostic tool to clinically rule out the more common differentials such as alopecia areata, tinea capitis, trichotillomania, and traction alopecia. Furthermore, Karadag Köse and Güleç identified trichoscopic follicular features of short vellus hairs, vellus hair length diversity and white hairs in all their nine CTA patients.[7] Histopathological examination, though not essential to diagnosis, shows unremarkable epidermis and dermis without any inflammatory infiltrate. Hair follicles are normal in number but miniaturized with increase in vellus or indeterminate hairs.[8] Sweat and sebaceous glands show no abnormality. Common differential diagnoses, with differentiating features are described in [Table 2].
Table 2: Common differential diagnoses of congenital triangular alopecia

Click here to view

CTA is associated with a number of other disorders and syndromes in about 15% of the cases. The disorders include café au lait macules, congenital cardiac diseases (valvular and septal defects) skeletal abnormalities (congenital dislocation of the hip, spina bifida), Dandy-Walker malformation, epilepsy and mental retardation, multiple lentigines, and tracheoesophageal fistula. The syndromic associations include chromosomal disorders (Down's syndrome, Turner syndrome), phakomatosis pigmentovascularis, Klippel–Trénaunay syndrome,  LEOPARD syndrome More Details, and Pai syndrome.[1] However, no disorder/syndrome has been reported with occipital CTA.[4],[5]

CTA tends to be possibly missed clinically [3] and may erroneously be diagnosed as other causes of nonscarring alopecia like alopecia areata. This fact certainly may lead to inadvertent treatment attempts with topical and intralesional steroids. The clinicians should remain aware of this benign condition so that patient can be counseled adequately regarding the nature of the disease. This is essential to avoid the unnecessary investigations or attempts at potentially harmful treatment options to cure the disease, like in our case where the patients took indigenous treatment from outside leading to irritant reaction. Treatment with corticosteroids, either topical or intralesional steroids, is completely ineffective,[1] though Bang et al. reported successful treatment of CTA with 3% topical minoxidil in a 1-year-old girl. However, the hair growth was not maintained in their case, and hair loss resumed after stopping the treatment.[9] Surgical hair restoration procedures such as follicular unit transplantation or complete excision can be offered to the patient for acceptable cosmetic outcomes.[1],[10]

Thus, we present this case to bring the focus to this uncommonly diagnosed and probably underreported disease and to differentiate it from other causes of nonscarring alopecia by its unique presentation and stable course. This can avoid injudicious treatment attempts thus minimizing the treatment-related adverse effects.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient's parents had given their consent for images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. They understand that names and initials of the patient will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal patient's identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Yin Li VC, Yesudian PD. Congenital triangular alopecia. Int J Trichology 2015;7:48-53.  Back to cited text no. 1
Dey VK, Bhadoria TS, Saxena A, Jaisinghani AK, Patil AY, Dubey N, et al. Congenital triangular alopecia: The 127(th) case. Int J Trichology 2016;8:50-1.  Back to cited text no. 2
Leung AK, Barankin B. Incidence of congenital triangular alopecia. An Bras Dermatol 2016;91:556.  Back to cited text no. 3
Bonifazi E. Hypotrichotic nevus (congenital triangular alopecia). Eur J Pediatr Dermatol 2011;21:57.  Back to cited text no. 4
Jamwal A, Sharma SD. Congenital triangular alopecia. Indian Pediatr 2014;51:511.  Back to cited text no. 5
Muller SA. Alopecia: Syndromes of genetic significance. J Invest Dermatol 1973;60:475-92.  Back to cited text no. 6
Karadaǧ Köse Ö, Güleç AT. Temporal triangular alopecia: Significance of trichoscopy in differential diagnosis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2015;29:1621-5.  Back to cited text no. 7
Trakimas C, Sperling LC, Skelton HG 3rd, Smith KJ, Buker JL. Clinical and histologic findings in temporal triangular alopecia. J Am Acad Dermatol 1994;31:205-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
Bang CY, Byun JW, Kang MJ, Yang BH, Song HJ, Shin J, et al. Successful treatment of temporal triangular alopecia with topical minoxidil. Ann Dermatol 2013;25:387-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
Chung J, Sim JH, Gye J, Namkoong S, Hong SP, Kim MH, et al. Successful hair transplantation for treatment of acquired temporal triangular alopecia. Dermatol Surg 2012;38:1404-6.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded233    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal