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 : 2  |  Page : 84-86  

Localized hypertrichosis following vaccination in an infant

Department of Dermatology, Swami Dayanand Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication9-Aug-2016

Correspondence Address:
Kajal Manchanda
Department of Dermatology, Swami Dayanand Hospital, New Delhi - 110 093
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.188037

Rights and Permissions

Hypertrichosis is characterized by increased hair growth independent of androgen excess. There are various causes of acquired localized hypertrichosis including chronic irritation and inflammation. Localised hypertrichosis following pentavalent vaccine has not been described previously in Indian literature. We hereby report a case of a 4-month-old healthy infant presenting with focal circumscribed areas of hypertrichosis over anterolateral aspect of bilateral thighs at the site of vaccination.

Keywords: Hypertrichosis, localized, vaccination

How to cite this article:
Manchanda K, Mohanty S. Localized hypertrichosis following vaccination in an infant. Int J Trichol 2016;8:84-6

How to cite this URL:
Manchanda K, Mohanty S. Localized hypertrichosis following vaccination in an infant. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Jan 29];8:84-6. Available from: https://www.ijtrichology.com/text.asp?2016/8/2/84/188037

   Introduction Top

Immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions and is largely responsible for the reduction of under-5 mortality rate.[1] Vaccine preventable diseases have declined markedly worldwide since the introduction of the routine immunization program in 1978, which was later upgraded in 1985 as the Universal Immunization Program (UIP).[2] Various local and systemic side effects have been reported with routine immunization. Cutaneous side effects include local reactions like erythema, induration with or without tenderness, subcutaneous nodules, and hypertrichosis at the site of injection.[2] Rarely erythema multiforme has also been reported.[3] We hereby report a rare case of focal hypertrichosis in an infant following routine immunization with the pentavalent vaccine.

   Case Report Top

A 4-month-old healthy male infant presented with focal areas of increased hair growth over bilateral thighs. The child was born out of a nonconsanguineous marriage, full-term normal vaginal delivery. He received Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination at birth and combination vaccine at 6 weeks and 10 weeks of age which included diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus toxoid, hepatitis B, and hemophilus influenza type B (DTPw-HepB-Hib). Mother gave a history of localized swelling at the site of injection which was later followed by increased hair growth at the injection site bilaterally after about 2 weeks of injection. There was no history of local trauma, topical applications, or any other oral or injectable drug administered to the child. On examination, there were focal areas of hypertrichosis (pigmented hair) about 3 cm × 2 cm localized over a bilateral anterolateral aspect of thighs [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. Underlying skin did not show any abnormality. Rest of the mucocutaneous examination was normal. Systemic examination was within normal limits.
Figure 1: Localized area of pigmented hair over anterolateral aspect of left thigh at the site of vaccination

Click here to view
Figure 2: Localized area of pigmented hair over anterolateral aspect of right thigh in an infant

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Hypertrichosis is characterized by excessive hair growth that is abnormal for the age, sex, or race of an individual, or for a particular area of the body. It can be congenital or acquired, generalized, or localized.[4] Acquired localized hypertrichosis (ALH) has been described as a separate entity with various underlying factors. It has been commonly reported in orthopedics following application of plaster cast and splint.[5],[6]

ALH is known to arise following chronic irritation, inflammation, and friction. It has been reported to result from tattoos, sclerotherapy, and subsiding psoriasis, respectively.[7],[8],[9] It can present in an irregular pattern on the legs in chronic venous insufficiency, around the edges of a burn, at the site of insect bites, and after radical inguinal lymphadenectomy.[10],[11],[12] Contact eczema, pretibial myxedema, arthritis, occupational, or self-inflicted trauma have also been associated with this phenomenon.[13]

Rarely, ALH has been observed after vaccination including measles and BCG vaccination.[13],[14] The exact mechanism underlying this phenomenon is unknown, but it has been suggested that prolonged exposure to antigen results in the production of various cytokines by the immune system. These cytokines can also affect nonimmune system cells such as those in the hair follicles and promote localized hair growth.[15]

Pentavalent vaccine given for routine immunization in children contains adjuvant like aluminium salts (aluminium hydroxide and aluminium phosphate). Persistent tender or itchy subcutaneous nodules and granulomas have been previously reported with these agents.[15],[16]

The classic histopathological appearance of these injection site reactions consists of a nodular inflammatory infiltrate with lymphoid follicles within the deep dermis and subcutaneous tissue with large collections of macrophages and eosinophilic infiltrate. Scattered giant cells and areas of eosinophilic necrosis have also been described. Finely granular refractile material can be found within macrophages, and the diagnosis can be confirmed by electron probe microanalysis.[15]

The development of focal hypertrichosis following pentavalent vaccine has not been described previously in Indian literature. Though it is a benign side effect, the authors here want to throw some light on this rare and less known side effect of pentavalent vaccine, which is routinely given to infants as per the UIP.

Further research might help in revealing the exact mechanism for localized hypertrichosis at the injection site following pentavalent vaccine.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Vashishtha VM, Kumar P. 50 years of immunization in India: Progress and future. Indian Pediatr 2013;50:111-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Sagar KS, Abdelmalik H, Wenger J, Haldar P, Goel N, Burgess C. Routine immunisation in India. J Indian Med Assoc 2005;103:676-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kaur S, Handa S. Erythema multiforme following vaccination in an infant. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2008;74:251-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Wendelin DS, Pope DN, Mallory SB. Hypertrichosis. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;48:161-79.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ma HJ, Yang Y, Ma HY, Jia CY, Li TH. Acquired localized hypertrichosis induced by internal fixation and plaster cast application. Ann Dermatol 2013;25:365-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
Rathi SK. Localized acquired hypertrichosis following cast application. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2007;73:367.  Back to cited text no. 6
  Medknow Journal  
Durmazlar SP, Tatlican S, Eskioglu F. Localized hypertrichosis due to temporary henna tattoos: Report of three cases. J Dermatolog Treat 2009;20:371-3.  Back to cited text no. 7
Oh TS, Kim Y, Song HJ. Localized hypertrichosis after sclerotherapy. Dermatol Surg 2010;36 Suppl 2:1064-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
Kumar B, Sandhu K, Kaur I. Localized hypertrichosis in subsiding psoriatic plaques. J Dermatol 2004;31:693-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
Shafir R, Tsur H. Local hirsutism at the periphery of burned skin. Br J Plast Surg 1979;32:93.  Back to cited text no. 10
Tisocco LA, Del Campo DV, Bennin B, Barsky S. Acquired localized hypertrichosis. Arch Dermatol 1981;117:127.  Back to cited text no. 11
Finck SJ, Cochran AJ, Vitek CR, Morton DL. Localized hirsutism after radical inguinal lymphadenectomy. N Engl J Med 1981;305:958.  Back to cited text no. 12
Oztas P, Catal F, Dilmen U. Localised hypertrichosis following BCG Vaccination. Niger J Paediatr 2003;30:93-5.  Back to cited text no. 13
Ozkan H, Dündar NO, Ozkan S, Kumral A, Duman N, Gülcan H. Hypertrichosis following measles immunization. Pediatr Dermatol 2001;18:457-8.  Back to cited text no. 14
Culora GA, Ramsay AD, Theaker JM. Aluminium and injection site reactions. J Clin Pathol 1996;49:844-7.  Back to cited text no. 15
Bergfors E, Lundmark K, Nyström Kronander U. A child with a long-standing, intensely itching subcutaneous nodule on a thigh: An uncommon (?) reaction to commonly used vaccines. BMJ Case Rep 2013;2013. pii: Bcr2012007779.  Back to cited text no. 16


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Persistent localized hypertrichosis in a Caucasian child at sites of DTPa and chickenpox vaccination
Martina Maurelli, Francesco Bellinato, Paolo Gisondi, Giampiero Girolomoni
Vaccine. 2020; 38(21): 3808
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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

  In this article
   Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded39    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal