Content » Vol 98, Issue 2

Clinical Report

Nail Involvement in Alopecia Areata: A Questionnaire-based Survey on Clinical Signs, Impact on Quality of Life and Review of the Literature

Yvonne B.M. Roest, Henriët van Middendorp, Andrea W.M. Evers, Peter C.M. van de Kerkhof, Marcel C. Pasch
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2810

Abstract

Alopecia areata (AA) is an immune-mediated disease causing temporary or permanent hair loss. Up to 46% of patients with AA also have nail involvement. The aim of this study was to determine the presence, types, and clinical implications of nail changes in patients with AA. This questionnaire-based survey evaluated 256 patients with AA. General demographic variables, specific nail changes, nail-related quality of life (QoL), and treatment history and need were evaluated. Prevalence of nail involvement in AA was 64.1%. The specific nail signs reported most frequently were pitting (29.7%, p = 0.008) and trachyonychia (18.0%). Red spots on the lunula were less frequent (5.1%), but very specific for severe AA. Nail-related QoL was only minimally affected by nail changes. In conclusion, nail involvement is common in patients with AA and presents mostly with pitting and trachyonychia. The presence of these nail changes reflects the severity of the disease, with red spots on the lunula as a predictor for severe alopecia

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