Syphilis | Stages, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

10- Hair loss

The medical term is alopecia, but in this case it is called syphilitic alopecia. This is an uncommon manifestation in patients with syphilis. It only appears in 4% of them. It is associated with skin scaly lesions in the scalp, but may not have any particular lesion associated with the alopecia patches in a type of hair loss called essential syphilitic alopecia.

Essential syphilitic alopecia can be further divided in different clinical patterns. The most common is called “Moth-Eaten” or stubble pattern. It is characterized by the presence of small patchy alopecic plates, which are not entirely hairless. They have an irregular size, poorly-defined edges, non-scarring characteristics, and no inflammatory or peeling signs. The alopecic plaques are located predominantly in the parieto-occipital region, possibly due to a more significant deposit of treponemes or a richer local vascularization. However, it can affect other hairy areas such as the beard, eyelashes, the armpits, the pubis, the trunk, and even the legs.