Photo Rounds

Rash with hair loss

A 37-year-old man presented to his family physician (FP) with a red rash on his face that had appeared a month earlier. The patient indicated that 4 months prior to this visit, he’d noticed some hair loss in his right eyebrow and his beard area. The patient did manual labor and had no idea where this rash came from. He had no known chronic health issues.

What’s your diagnosis?


Rash with hair loss

The FP had never seen a condition like this before, so he used some online resources to come up with a differential diagnosis that included sarcoidosis, leprosy, drug eruption, and mycosis fungoides. Aside from an occasional drug eruption, the other conditions were ones that he had seen in textbooks only.

Based on that differential diagnosis, the FP decided to do a punch biopsy of the largest nodule, which was near the patient’s mouth. (See the Watch & Learn video on “Punch biopsy.”)

The pathology report came back as folliculotropic mycosis fungoides. The FP researched the diagnosis and determined that this was a cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that involved hair follicles and tended to occur on the head and neck. This explained the patient’s hair loss in his beard and right eyebrow. While the prognosis for mycosis fungoides is quite good, the same cannot be said for the folliculotropic variant.

The FP referred the patient to Dermatology for further evaluation and treatment. In consultation with Hematology, the patient was treated with a potent topical steroid, chemotherapy, and narrowband ultraviolet B light therapy. His condition improved, but ongoing treatment and surveillance were needed.

Photos and text for Photo Rounds Friday courtesy of Richard P. Usatine, MD. This case was adapted from: Chacon G, Nayar A. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. In: Usatine R, Smith M, Mayeaux EJ, et al. Color Atlas and Synopsis of Family Medicine. 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill;2019:1124-1131.

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