International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
 Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
  Home | About IJT | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Online submission | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact us | Login   

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-47  

Plica polonica after use of shampoo

1 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India
2 Department of Medicine, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Date of Web Publication30-Mar-2016

Correspondence Address:
Tejinder Kaur
C-12, Medical College Campus, Near Circular Road, Amritsar, Punjab
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.179389

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Kaur T, Singh D, Malhotra SK, Singh J. Plica polonica after use of shampoo. Int J Trichol 2016;8:46-7

How to cite this URL:
Kaur T, Singh D, Malhotra SK, Singh J. Plica polonica after use of shampoo. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Jan 30];8:46-7. Available from: https://www.ijtrichology.com/text.asp?2016/8/1/46/179389


Plica polonica is an uncommon condition characterized by diffuse matting of hair. It can be caused by various conditions such as psychiatric illnesses, pediculosis, pyoderma scalp and shampoos. It was prevalent in Poland in the 19th century, hence the name plica polonica or polish plait.[1],[2] Here, we report a case of a 12-year-old girl who presented with a mass of entangled hair for the past 1 month. The patient gave a history of application of some shampoo. Immediately after its application, she developed matting of hair which could not be detangled even with repeated washing. The problem was persistent and the patient was unable to comb her hair. On examination, the patient had a bunch of diffusely matted hair giving a bird's nest appearance [Figure 1]. The texture of the hair was coarse. Nits were present in the occipital region, and some erythematous pustules were also present in the occipital region suggesting pediculosis and secondary infection. Suboccipital lymph nodes were enlarged. General physical examination was unremarkable. The patient had a history of an episode of seizures 3 years back for which she was put on some antiepileptic. Based on the history and clinical findings, the diagnosis of plica polonica was made.
Figure 1: Mass of entangled hair giving bird's nest appearance

Click here to view

The exact mechanism of matting is not understood, but it may be caused by longitudinal splitting or feathering of hair, gluing of hair due to exudates from infected lesions on scalp, and frequent use of certain shampoos. However, the most common cause is generalized neglect which leads to infections and infestations of the scalp causing exudation and constant curling of hair which may occur in patients with various psychiatric disorders.[3],[4] The strength of hair depends basically on disulfide bonds.[5] It is proposed that it is the breakage of these bonds which leads to matting of hair. The treatment consists of trimming of entangled hair, various hair-conditioning agents, treating the underlying cause such as antibiotics for infections, permethrin for pediculosis and treatment for psychiatric disorder. There are not too many reports of plica polonica due to the use of shampoos, so the case is reported for its rare presentation.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Pavithran K. Plica neuropathica causing traction alopecia. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1990;56:141-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  
Ghodake NB, Singh N, Thappa DM. Plica neuropathica (polonica): Clinical and dermoscopic features. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2013;79:269.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Kumar PN, Rajmohan V. Plica neuropathica (polonica) in schizophrenia. Indian J Psychiatry 2012;54:288-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Joshi R, Singh S. Plica Neuropathica (Plica polonica) following azathioprine-induced pancytopenia. Int J Trichology 2010;2:110-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
Miranda-Vilela AL, Botelho AJ, Muehlmann LA. An overview of chemical straightening of human hair: Technical aspects, potential risks to hair fibre and health and legal issues. Int J Cosmet Sci 2014;36:2-11.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded56    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal