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Disease Profile

Lipedematous Scalp

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Localized lipomatosis of the scalp with or without alopecia


Lipedematous scalp is a rare disorder characterized by thickening of the adipose subcutaneous layer (fat tissue under the scalp). When associated with lack of hair, it is known as lipedematous alopecia. The scalp is soft, spongy or thick in the forehead area (apex) and in the back (occiput) of the head. It mainly affects women. Symptoms include diffuse pain, abnormal sensations (paresthesia), headache, burning, thickening of the scalp with localized or generalized sensitivity of the scalp or itching. The cause is unknown, but there may be mechanical factors, such as the prolonged wearing of tight headwear and hormonal factors. Lipedematous scalp may be associated with diseases such as diabetes mellitus, renal failure, loose joints and skin, Sjögren's syndrome, hyperlipidemia, and ovarian cysts.[1][2] There is no definitive treatment or ways to stop the progression of the disease. Corticosteroids and other medications may be used depending on the case.[3][4]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

In-Depth Information

  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Lipedematous Scalp. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  1. Peter CV, Jennifer A, Raychaudhury T, Chandrashekhar L, Merilyn S, Gowda S & Shyam G. Lipedematous scalp.. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. May-June, 2014; 80(3):270-2. https://www.ijdvl.com/article.asp?issn=0378-6323;year=2014;volume=80;issue=3;spage=270;epage=272;aulast=Dincy.
  2. Piraccini BM, Voudouris S, Pazzaglia M, Rech G, Vicenzi C &Tosti A. Lipedematous alopecia of the scalp. Dermatol Online J. February 28, 2006; 12(2):6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16638399.
  3. Carrasco-Zuber JE, Alvarez-Veliz S, Cataldo-Cerda K & Gonzalez-Bombardiere S. Lipedematous scalp: a case report and review of the current literature. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. March, 2016; https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddg.12813/abstract.
  4. Cabrera R, Larrondo J, Whittle C, Castro A & Gosch M. Successful Treatment of Lipedematous Alopecia using Mycophenolate Mofetil. Acta Derm Venereol. 2015; 95:1011–1012. https://www.medicaljournals.se/acta/content/?doi=10.2340/00015555-2114&html=1.