ALOPECIA CICATRISATA

Alopecia cicatrisata is a form of permanent loss of hair, resulting in scarring. This is caused by inflammations which damage the follicles of your hair. Moreover, this condition can affect both males and females, but is uncommon for children. Its exact cause is also yet unknown.

Furthermore, alopecia cicatrisata may progress gradually and unnoticed for a long time. However, when associated with burning, pain, or severe itching, it may progress at a rapid pace.

SYMPTOMS

Hair loss is the major symptom for alopecia cicatrisata. The following symptoms may also arise in the affected areas:

  • Redness
  • Decrease or increase in pigmentation
  • Scaling
  • Draining sinuses
  • Pustules
  • Itching

Some cases may have less signs of inflammation. Nevertheless, if symptoms persist, schedule a visit to your physician.

DIAGNOSIS

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.

TREATMENT

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:

  • Doxycycline
  • Pioglitazone
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Cyclosporine

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
  • Corticosteroids

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.

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