Aplasia cutis congenita

Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer, 2003. Updated by Dr Ebtisam Elghblawi, Dermatologist, Tripoli, Libya, and DermNet NZ Editor in Chief, A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, November 2017. 

 What is aplasia cutis congenita?

Aplasia cutis congenita is a condition in which a newborn child is missing skin from certain areas.

How do you get aplasia cutis and who is at risk?

It is not yet fully known why aplasia cutis occurs but the following factors may be involved.

Aplasia cutis is rare and no particular race or sex is at greater risk. 

What are the clinical features of aplasia cutis?

In about 70% of cases, aplasia cutis affects the scalp lateral to the midline, but lesions may also occur on the face, trunk, or limbs, sometimes symmetrically. 

What is the differential diagnosis for aplasia cutis?

Other conditions that should be considered include:

What treatments are available for aplasia cutis?

Small areas of aplasia cutis usually heal spontaneously over time. To prevent infection gentle cleaning and bland ointments may be used. If infection occurs, antibiotics can be used.

Larger lesions or multiple scalp defects may require surgical repair; sometimes skin or bone grafting may be required.

What are the complications of aplasia cutis?

Complications of aplasia cutis rarely occur but may include:

Related information

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