Hidden in plain sight: Considerations for an ulcer of the scalp

Jade N. Young, May Elgash, Alex G. Ortega-Loayza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a rare inflammatory skin condition characterized by painful, irregularly shaped skin ulcers mainly affecting the lower extremities. PG rarely affects the head and neck, making the diagnosis of this condition even more challenging. A high index of suspicion is paramount in the diagnosis of PG, especially after surgical procedures. Methods: We describe a clinical case of a patient with initially undiagnosed PG of the scalp who underwent surgical excision and full thickness skin graft with subsequent graft necrosis as initial clue for the diagnosis. Results: Twenty months after initial presentation, this patient healed with a multimodal medical approach of immunosuppressive therapy and wound care. Conclusion: Prompt recognition of PG by physicians assessing any surgical wounds is vital in reducing misdiagnosis and improving patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E11-E15
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • graft
  • pathergy
  • pyoderma gangrenosum
  • scalp
  • ulcer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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