Foto del docente

Bianca Maria Piraccini

Associate Professor

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine - DIMES

Academic discipline: MED/35 Dermatology and Venereal Diseases

Head of Scuola di Specializzazione Dermatologia e Venereologia (DI 68/2015)

Research

Keywords: children alopecia nails fungi tumors melanoma drugs hair onychomycosis

  1. Clinical features and epidemiology of nail disorders
  2. Onychomycosis (fungal invasion of the nails): identification of pathogens and evaluation of efficacy of medical and surgical treatments.
  3. Treatmet of inflammatory nail diseases, including psoriasis and lichen planus.
  4. Study of nail side effects of chemopthrapeutic agents, EGF inhibitors, VEGF inhibitors and HAART therapuy and their management.
  5. Study of benign and malignant nail tumors, including melanoma with clinical, dermatoscopic, istopathologic and immonohistochemical techinques.
  6. Pigmented nail lesions in infancy; research of clinical and dermatoscopic criteria for excluding nail melanoma.
  7. Nail surgery. nail matrix phenolization as treatment of nail ingrowing.
  8. Micological (KOH Identification and cultures) study of onychomycosis, tinea corporis and tinea capitis.  
  9. Hair in children. identification of growth, clinical features and types of alopecia below the age of 6 years.
  10. Clinical features and epidemiology of the most common forms of hair diseases
  11. Treatment of cicatricial alopecias
  12. Study of hair and nail diseases with computer-assisted  dermoscopy.  Evaluation of the use of this technique in the diagnosis of hair and nail diseases.
  13. Clinical and histopathological study of new drugs on hair growth anf for the treatment of hair disordes. 
  14. Allergic contact dermatitis in patients with chronic leg ulcers.
  15. Identifications of allergens that most commonly cause professional contact dermatitis.
  16. Skin of eterologous limb transplant: study of modification of skin and adnexa.
  17. Follow-up study on patients affected by exclusive nail psoriasis to detect the risk of developing psoriatic arthoparthy.


  1. Nail disorders affect about 20% of the general population and include inflammatory, traumatic, infective and neoplastic distases. The Outpatient consultation for Nail Disorders visits about 1500 patients with problems of the nails every year. We study epidemiology, prevalence of the different disorders, clinical , dermoscopic and pathological features and response to treatment. 
  2. Onychomycosis (funga nail infections) affect about 30% of the general population: identification of the responsible agent is mandatory for choosing the correct treatment. The increase of the population coming from other contries, such as East Europe and Africa has induced a change in the epidemiology of nail fungal infection.
  3. Treatment of inflammatory nail disorders such as psoriasis and lichen planus is often unsartisfactory, and responding patients often relapse after treatment withdrawl. Biological drugs may be promising in those cases.
  4.  Sevaral chronic therapies, such as chemotherapy or antiretroviral treatmetns induce skin and nail side effects that strongly affect quality of life and are difficult to manage, since therapy can not be interrupted. Our research is to identify the clinical and pathological features of nail side effects due to those drugs and to find possible treatments.The study is performed in cooperation with other university centers inItaly (Milan), Europe (Brussels, Bristol) and US (Miami).
  5. Clinical, epidemiologia, dermoscopu, istopatological amnd immunohistochemical on nail tumors, including nail melanoma.
  6. The development of a black band in the nail can be due to several causes, including hematoma, nail matrix benign melanocyte activation or proliferation or malignant melanocyte proliferation, known as nail melanoma. In children, a pigmented band is mostly die tio a nevus, especialy in Caucasians. Although the diagnosi can only be proven by pathology, we are trying to find features that can avoid a surgical procedure in these cases.  The Longitudinal Melanonychia Group contains nail experts of the 2 Nail Society (European Nail Society and Council for Nail Diseases) of EU and US, currently evaluating the possible existence of clinical and dermoscpoci features diagnostic for nail matrix nevi in children. 
  7. Nail surgeli is very difficult and needs a deep knowlkedge of nail anatomy and good surgical skills. New techniques such as tenagential nail biopsy, allow us to perform surgery in the nail without the risk of scarring. Nail matrix lateral horns phenolization allows the cure tf ingrowing toenails without risk of infections, post op pain and recurrences. 
  8. Microscopic and cultural identification of fungi invading skin, nails and hair.
  9. Hair in newborns and neonates are different fdorm those of adults. In the fist years of life, hair undergo changes of color, size, shape and texture and graduali transform in those of the adult. Our research is aimed to study the hair in newborns and in children at differen ages, using clinicla paramenters and videodermoscopy. 
  10. Epidemiolgy and clinica features of the most common hair distasse: The Outpatient Consultation for Hair Disorders sees about 2000 patients with hair problems every year. Patients are stupide clinically, by dermoscpy and histopathology. 
  11. Treatment of scarring alopecia 
  12. Dermoscopy of nail and hair diseases: validation of the technique
  13. Clinical, dermoscopic  and histopathological study on new drugs for hair growth. 
  14. Study on the prevalence of allergic contact dermatitis in patients with chronic leg ulcers: all patients with leg ulcers and skin erythema after application of topicals undergo patch testing to evacuate the possibility of allergic contact dermatits to wound dressings or drugs. 
  15. Identifications of the allergens that most commonly cause professional contact dermatitis.
  16. Skin in transplanted limbs: modifications of skin, hair and nails after eterologous transplant. We are cooperating with the Plastic Surgeon Unit of Monza, and with neurologists and immunologists of the University of Bologna, in order to evaluate the changes of different parameters during the months and years after limb transplantation. 
  17. The close proximity of the nail apparatus and its ligaments with the distal interphalangeal joint has recently been underlined by rheumatologists who showed a strict link between nail and arthropathic psoriasis. It is still unproven whether nail psoriasis may be considered a risk factor for the development of arthropathic psoriasis, We are now doing a follow-up study in a large group of patients affected by psoriasis limited to the nails to see the frequency of development of arthropathic psoriasis.