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