Dissecting cellulitis of the scalp

C N Williams, M Cohen, S G Ronan, C A Lewandowski
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1986, 77 (3): 378-82
Dissecting cellulitis of the scalp or perifolliculitis capitis abscedens et suffodiens is a rare, chronic, progressive, suppurative disease of the scalp of unknown etiology. It is characterized by painful nodules, purulent drainage, burrowing interconnecting abscesses, and cicatricial alopecia. The pathogenesis is unknown, although it is probably related to follicular occlusion, secondary infection, and deep inflammation. Black men in their second to fourth decade are predominantly affected. Treatment varies from systemic antibiotics to incision and drainage, x-ray epilation of the affected areas, systemic steroid administration, and surgical excision. Our experience with four patients with extensive scalp disease is presented. Wide excision of the affected areas and splitthickness skin graft are favored as our treatment of choice.

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