Primary generalized and localized hypertrichosis in children

Roopal A. Vashi, Anthony J. Mancini, Amy S. Paller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the causes, presentation, and therapy of primary generalized and localized symmetrical hypertrichosis in children. Design: Retrospective medical record review. Setting: Academic specialty referral clinic for pediatric dermatological disorders. Patients: Case series of 11 prepubertal male and female patients who had idiopathic hypertrichosis between July 1, 1990, and November 30, 1999. Interventions: None. Main Outcome Measures: Clinical distribution of increased hair growth and types of hair removal methods used. Results: Seven girls and 4 boys, ranging in age from 4 months to 11 years, were evaluated. Four patients showed generalized hypertrichosis. The other 7 patients had localized symmetrical hypertrichosis, representing the subsets of hypertrichosis cubiti, anterior cervical hypertrichosis, posterior cervical hypertrichosis, and faun tail deformity. All patients with generalized hypertrichosis manifested the condition at birth; the age of onset in children with localized symmetrical primary hypertrichosis ranged from birth to 4 years. One girl with generalized hypertrichosis had gingival hyperplasia and the girl with faun tail deformity had bony diastematomyelia with spina bifida occulta. The medical histories and physical examination findings of all of the children were otherwise unremarkable. All patients were referred for diagnostic and therapeutic considerations. Conclusions: Primary hypertrichotic conditions, whether localized or generalized, are rare in pediatric patients and of unknown origin. Although otherwise benign, these disorders may result in cosmetic disfigurement and psychosocial trauma for patients and families. Patients and their families should be adequately advised of the available treatment methods for both temporary and permanent hair removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-884
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Dermatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 26 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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