Symptoms such as itching or pain in the scalp associated with hair loss may indicate scarring alopecia. A physical exam of the scalp coupled with a scalp biopsy will confirm a diagnosis. Once confirmed it is treatable for the vast majority of patients.
How do you know if your hair follicles are scarred?
The inflammation that destroys the follicle is below the skin surface and there is usually no “scar” seen on the scalp. Affected areas of the scalp may show little signs of inflammation, or have redness, scaling, increased or decreased pigmentation, pustules, or draining sinuses.
How can you tell the difference between scarring and non scarring alopecia?
In non-scarring alopecia, hair follicles are preserved with potential for hair regrowth. In scarring alopecia, the hair follicle is irreversibly destroyed due to destruction of stem cells in the bulge area of the outer root sheath, and replaced by fibrous scar tissue, leading to permanent hair loss.
Can hair grow back after scarring alopecia?
Scarring (cicatricial) alopecia
Scarring alopecias are typically caused by inflammation that results in destruction of the hair follicle leading to irreversible hair loss. If the condition is treated early in the disease course, it is sometimes possible to regrow hair.
How do you get rid of scarring from alopecia?
Scarring alopecias that involve mostly lymphocyte inflammation of hair follicles, such as lichen planopilaris and pseudopelade, are generally treated with corticosteroids in topical creams and by injection into the affected skin. In addition, antimalarial and isotretinoin drugs may be used.
What triggers scarring alopecia?
There are a variety of reasons patients develop scarring alopecia, including inflammatory skin diseases, chronic hair styling habits, infection and trauma.
Can alopecia go away on its own?
Alopecia areata (AA) causes hair loss in small, round patches that may go away on their own, or may last for many years. Nearly 2% of the U.S. population (about four million people) will develop AA in their lifetime.
How quickly does alopecia spread?
People with alopecia areata typically have smooth, round patches of complete hair loss that develop over a period of a few weeks, followed in most cases by regrowth over several months (picture 1).
Is alopecia areata permanent?
Because alopecia areata cannot be cured, people who have regrowth can have more hair loss later. Some people have cycles of hair loss and regrowth. If your hair doesn’t regrow on its own, medical treatments may help. There are many treatments for alopecia areata, and scientists are studying new possibilities.