Aplasia Cutis Congenita

Jagdish Kathwate
MD Pediatrics. Assistant Professor, Government Medical College, Aurangabad, India.
First Created: 08/01/2015  Last Updated: 08/01/2015

Patient Education

What is Aplasia Cutis?

Aplasia cutis is a condition where a newborn child is missing skin from certain areas. In about 70% of cases, it is a single lesion on the scalp, but sometimes multiple lesions may appear on other parts of the body. They vary in size from 0.5 cm to 10 cm. Lesions that involve only the epidermis (upper layers of skin) are shallow and usually heal over with scarring before the child is born. A deeper lesion involving the dermis, subcutaneous tissue, or rarely, the skull may be ulcerated. Membranous aplasia cutis is the term used when there is an underlying flat, white membrane, which overlies a defect in the skull. It can be associated with a neural cranial tube defect (encephalocele or meningocele), which can be demonstrated by an ultrasound scan showing misplaced brain tissue outside the skull.

Who is at Risk?

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

  • Genetics: aplasia cutis may be seen in association with other congenital skin defects such as epidermal naevi
  • Teratogens (drugs or chemicals causing birth deformities)
  • Defect in skin development in the embryo/fetus
  • Early rupture of amniotic membranes
  • Aplasia cutis affecting the limbs may be associated with the death of a twin fetus (papyraceous fetus)

What Treatments are Available for It?

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 may require surgical repair.

What are the Complications for Aplasia Cutis?

Complications rarely occur but may include:

  • Arterial bleeding
  • Secondary infection


Aplasia Cutis Congenita Aplasia Cutis Congenita Aplasia Cutis Congenita 08/01/2015
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