Diseases & Conditions


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Aplasia cutis


The absence of small areas of skin that may occur any time from before birth to early childhood. These localized birth defects are usually found on the back of the scalp, although they may occur anywhere on the body. At birth, the affected area may be covered by a tough, smooth membrane or it may be raw and crusted. Symptoms On the scalp, the areas tend to be hairless with sharp margins that heal slowly, eventually to be replaced by a flat scar. Occasionally there may be an infection, hemorrhage, or an underlying defect in the bone that will heal on its own during the baby’s first two years of life. Cause The defect may be inherited, but it usually appears spontaneously. It is sometimes seen with syndromes such as the chromosome disorder trisomy 13. Treatment There is no known treatment other than to cut out the hairless area or, better still, to transplant normal skin and hair follicles.