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Frictional alopecia of the distal legs: case series and review


BackgroundAcquired alopecia of the lower legs may occur secondary to friction due to socks, footwear, or both on the lower extremities. There is scant literature that reports on this phenomenon.

Methods and MaterialsWe describe 5 patients who presented with alopecia of their lower legs induced by socks, footwear, or both.

Methods and Materials: We reviewed PubMed for the following terms: ankle alopecia, friction alopecia, frictional alopecia, lower extremity alopecia, non-scarring leg alopecia, and sock alopecia. We also reviewed papers containing these terms and their references.

ResultsAcquired frictional alopecia of the lower extremities is often an asymptomatic condition found incidentally on physical examination. The condition can persist for many years despite removal of the source of friction.

ConclusionThe incidence of acquired frictional alopecia of the lower extremities may be greater than reflected in previously published reports. It is a non-scarring subtype of alopecia that was noted as an incidental finding during the patient’s dermatology appointment.

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