Hair Loss (Alopecia)

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Alopecia is a general term that means hair loss. While there are many recommendations about alopecia online; the key is to establish the correct diagnosis. Alopecias are classified as non-scarring and scarring. The distinction between these is done via clinical examination, thorough work up, microscopy of the scalp, and often biopsy. Although some treatments may fit any hair loss type, the treatments should be adjusted based on the correct diagnosis.

Non-Scarring Alopecia

In non-scarring alopecia, the hair follicle is not damaged, and hair has the potential to regrow.

Non-scarring alopecia is more common than scarring alopecia.

Most common non-scarring alopecias include:

  • Pattern hair loss in both men and women (autoimmune disease).
  • Telogen effluvium
  • Alopecia areata

Conditions like thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, and secondary syphilis can often lead to non-scarring hair loss. Hair thinning and non-scarring hair loss can occur with aging. This is known as senescent alopecia.

Scarring Alopecia

Scarring alopecia is usually caused by inflammation. This inflammation leads damages the hair follicles and leads to permanent hair loss. If treated early on, sometimes hair regrowth is possible. Inflammatory medical issues that can cause follicle destruction include lupus, lichen planoplilaris, cellulitis, folliculitis, and acne keloidalis.

How Is Alopecia Diagnosed?

If someone thinks they might have alopecia, they should see the doctor. Specifically, they will need to see a skin specialist known as a dermatologist. A standard visit will likely go as follows:

  • The patient and the dermatologist will discuss all of their symptoms in detail.
  • The doctor will thoroughly examine all spots of hair loss.
  • The doctor will slightly pull the hair around the bald area to see if it will come out easily. This hair may be examined under a microscope.
  • The doctor will examine specific hairs around the hair follicles to see if they are abnormally shaped.
  • The doctor will also examine the nails to look for other clues. 

If necessary, the doctor will take a biopsy from your scalp and view it under a microscope. This will help in the diagnosis of several conditions.

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Why Choose Dermatology Circle for Alopecia Areata Treatment?

Dr. Kazlouskaya focuses on individualized, personal care and providing a pleasant experience with a successful outcome. Call or stop by for a consultation today.

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