The first step to diagnosing alopecia cicatrisata is a biopsy of the scalp. Specimen is extracted through a biopsy punch, which entails the use of a tool to remove a skin sample as small as a pencil eraser. The area where the sample will be extracted is anesthetized prior to the extraction.
Aside from the biopsy findings, the doctor will need to determine the following in order to diagnose alopecia cicatrisata:
- Type and amount of inflammation
- Other changes in the scalp
- Location of the inflammation
Moreover, a hair pull test may also aid in determining which areas have hair follicles that are easier to pull out.
Standard therapies for alopecia cicatrisata may vary, depending on the patient and how the alopecia progresses. Nevertheless, the goal of the treatment is to deal with the cause of the inflammations that damage the follicles. Hence, anti-inflammatory medications, such as the following oral medications, may be prescribed:
- Mycophenolate mofetil
Aside from oral medications, certain topical medications can be used for alopecia cicatrisata. These may include:
- Topical tacrolimus
- Derma-Smoothe/FS scalp oil
- Topical pimecrolimus
Surgical treatment, such as scalp reduction or hair restoration surgery, might also be recommended for other patients.
However, note that the effects of medications for alopecia may vary from person to person. Hence, medications that may be effecient for other persons with hair loss may not exactly be as efficient for you. Thus, make sure to consult your physician first before attempting to ingest or apply any medication.