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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-86  

Unusual presentation of greying of hair

Department of Dermatology, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Date of Web Publication7-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Abel Francis
Department of Dermatology, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Amala Nagar, Thrissur - 680 555, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.160123

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How to cite this article:
Francis A, Criton S, Shojan A, Philip R, Nazeer M. Unusual presentation of greying of hair. Int J Trichol 2015;7:85-6

How to cite this URL:
Francis A, Criton S, Shojan A, Philip R, Nazeer M. Unusual presentation of greying of hair. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Feb 7];7:85-6. Available from: https://www.ijtrichology.com/text.asp?2015/7/2/85/160123


Greying of hair is an aging process that occurs in almost all men and women. Some people grey early while others late, but grey hair is unwelcome at any age.

A 48-year-old male presented with greying of hair of only the right lower extremity since 6 months. Since 6 months, he has been noticing number of grey hairs on the right thigh. He has searched all over his body for grey hair but has not found any except for a few hairs on the scalp, which were present scattered over the scalp since few years. The patient has been expecting grey hairs on the other leg since 6 months, but not a single grey hair was seen. Examination showed that there was significant greying of hairs only on the right lower extremity especially the right thigh [Figure 1]. There was no pigmentary change on the skin of that region. There was no obvious loss of hair.
Figure 1: Greying of hair right thigh

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Various unusual presentation of greying of hair has been reported. The overnight greying phenomenon is one of the so-called mythical occurrences that has baffled the scientific community for years. [1] There are many stories of historical figures where hair reportedly turned grey after severe emotional stress. Queen Marie Antoinette was said to have turned grey upon hearing her death sentence.

There are many case report of greying occurring after sever pain or somatic disease. [2] Rapid greying of eyelashes has been reported after pain in that region. Hemicanites has been reported after severe hemorrhage [3] and after parturition. [4]

Various hypothesis regarding unusual greying have been put forward such as alopecia areata, vitiligo, telogen effluvium. [5] In our case, there was no obvious loss of hair and no depigmented skin lesions. He did not have any pain in that region nor did he have any systemic illnesses that could be related to telogen effluvium. The only postulation we could make was that this could be an early segmental vitiligo where the skin may become depigmented later.

   References Top

Ephraim AJ. On sudden or rapid whitening of the hair. AMA Arch Derm 1959;79:228-36.  Back to cited text no. 1
Nahm M, Navarini AA, Kelly EW. Canities subita: A reappraisal of evidence based on 196 case reports published in the medical literature. Int J Trichology 2013;5:63-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Brissaud E. On a case of sudden unilateral canities in an apoplectic. Prog Med 1897;25:90-1.  Back to cited text no. 3
Dewees WP. Singular case of the alteration of the colour of the hair, during parturition. Phila Med Mus 1807;3:219-22.  Back to cited text no. 4
Goldenhersh MA. Rapid whitening of the hair first reported in the Talmud. Possible mechanisms of this intriguing phenomenon. Am J Dermatopathol 1992;14:367-8.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1]


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