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Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 281, Issue 3, pp 188–192 | Cite as

Effects of plucking on the anatomy of the anagen hair bulb

A light microscopic study
  • I. D. Bassukas
  • O. P. Hornstein
Original Contributions

Summary

The effects of mechanical plucking on the anatomy of human anagen hair bulbs were studied histologically in biopsy specimens taken from scalp areas of ten volunteers immediately after plucking. Anagen hair bulbs were shown to tear off not arbitrarily but in reproducible patterns which include, apart from the “typical” break conically surrounding the dermal papilla, three additional break forms:(1) rupture of the hair around the upper third of the papilla resulting in so-called dysplastic anagen hairs of the trichogram, (2) rupture of the hair well above the dermal papilla resulting in “brocken” anagen hairs, (3) total removal of the proximal follicle epithelium with removal of the dermal papilla resulting in so-called papilla hairs of the trichogram. Plucking also gives rise to alterations of the mesenchymal sheath of the hair follicle mainly leading to hemorrhages and a distinct edema entailing an increase in the volume of both the dermal papilla and the underlying “papilla cushion” of Pinkus. The different break types can be due to inappropriate plucking techniques or may depend on different subphases of the anagen stage.

Key words

Mechanical plucking Trichogram Anagen hair bulb Breaking pattern 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. D. Bassukas
    • 1
  • O. P. Hornstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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