Cutis Verticis Gyrata

What is Cutis verticis gyrate?

 Cutis verticis gyrata is an uncommon, congenital, or acquired scalp disorder characterized by an overgrowth of the scalp skin resulting in convoluted folds and deep furrows that mimic the surface of the cerebral cortex. It is more prevalent in males than females. The majority of primary cases develop after puberty and usually occur before the age of thirty. Some secondary types of cutis verticis gyrata may be present at birth.


Cause of Cutis verticis gyrata

Cutis verticis gyrata is caused by the proliferation of the scalp skin. It is categorized as:

  • Primary essential cutis verticis gyrata with no other related abnormalities. Primary indicates that the etiology of the disease is unknown.
  • Primary nonessential cutis verticis gyrata is linked to neuropsychiatric illnesses such as epilepsy, seizures, cerebral palsy, and ophthalmologic abnormalities.
  • Secondary cutis verticis gyrata can be caused by many disorders that alter scalp structure, such as:
  1. Acromegaly
  2. Melanocytic naevi (moles)
  3. Birthmarks, including connective tissue naevus , fibromas and naevus lipomatosus
  4.  Inflammatory conditions include eczema, darier disease, psoriasis, folliculitis, impetigo, atopic dermatitis, and acne. 


Clinical features of Cutis verticis gyrata

Cutis verticis gyrata usually affects the center and back of the scalp, although in certain cases it can affect the entire scalp. The folds feel soft and spongy. It cannot be rectified by pressure. The skin color is unaffected. The number of folds might range from two to over ten. Folds in primary cutis verticis gyrata are usually symmetric, while those in secondary cutis verticis gyrata are asymmetric.


Diagnosis of Cutis verticis gyrata

Cutis verticis gyrata is typically a clinical diagnosis.
Investigations for neurological diseases or underlying disorders may involve:

  • skin biopsies
  • radiography, such as MRI.


Treatment of Cutis verticis gyrata

Cutis verticis gyrata therapy includes maintaining adequate scalp hygiene to prevent secretions from accumulating in the scalp’s furrows. For cosmetic reasons, definitive surgical treatment may be requested. Secondary cutis verticis gyrata is treated based on the underlying condition.


Prognosis of Cutis verticis gyrata

Cutis verticis gyrata is a progressive condition. It is mostly bothersome because of its cosmetic appearance. It is rarely complicated by melanoma growing within a melanocytic naevus.



Written by:

Atheer Alhuthaili , Medical Student. 

Revised by:

Maee Barakeh, Medical Student