Hypertrichosis lanuginosa acquisita
Hypertrichosis lanuginosa acquisita is an acquired excessive growth of lanugo (vellus) hairs. Soft, downy hairs initially cover the face and ears, but eventually all hair bearing skin may be involved.
Associated abnormalities include a glossitis which is often painful. The tongue is studded with red papules.
The fully expressed disease is usually secondary to malignant tumors, but excessive lanugo hair growth can be caused also by drugs such as exogenous steroids, phenytoin, diazoxide, streptomycin, penicillamine, and minoxidil or by conditions such as anorexia nervosa or starvation.
When secondary to malignancy, it is usually abrupt in its onset and is rapidly progressive.
Tumors include colon, rectum, bladder, lung, pancreas, gallbladder, uterus, breast, and lymphoma.
The excessive lanugo hair growth is presumably secondary to a circulating factor produced by the tumor.
Most of the tumors capable of producing this disease would appear to be of the APUD group.
- Usually indicative of a poor prognosis, there is no practical therapy of the hypertrichosis per se, other than shaving or cream depilatories.