Pediatric Dermatology

Premature Hair Graying

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Hair pigmentation and graying are important top­ics for the understanding of the physiology of aging; the differentiation of stem cells; and the mechanisms underlying disease processes such as progeroid syndromes, vitiligo, and hypothy­roidism. Although hair graying, or canities, is a common process occurring in people as they age, an unknown percentage of individuals experience premature graying from familial inheritance or pathologic conditions. We review the physiology of hair pigmentation and the mechanism underly­ing physiologic graying, and we explore the etiol­ogy of pathologic causes of premature graying, pathologies associated with premature graying, and the limited available treatment options for hair graying.


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