Medical Definition of Lanugo

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Lanugo: Downy hair on the body of a fetus or newborn baby. Lanugo is the first hair to be produced by the fetal hair follicles, and it usually appears on the fetus at about 5 months of gestation. Lanugo is very fine, soft, and usually unpigmented. Although lanugo is normally shed before birth, around 7 or 8 months of gestation, it is sometimes present at birth. This is not a cause for concern: Lanugo disappears of its own accord within a few days or weeks.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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