Scarring Alopecia is a type of hair loss. Another name for it is cicatricial alopecia. It is a very critical type of hair loss where the hair follicle is destroyed. The hair does not grow back.
We can say that Scarring Alopecia is the name for a group of hair loss conditions, and not only one condition.
Scarring Alopecia occurs in both women, men, and children. It is less frequent in children. In general, it is possible to say that scarring alopecia is rare.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia, Folliculitis Decalvans, Discoid Lupus, Scleroderma, are some of the conditions that cause Scarring Alopecia. In most cases, small patches occur in Scarring Alopecia. Then the patient loses more hair, and scarring occurs on the patches.
Scarring Alopecia often appears in two forms. In the first form, the hair follicle is the primary target, and is lost. In the secondary type, there is another cause like radiation or severe burn.
The causes of Scarring Alopecia are not well understood. During Scarring Alopecia, the hair follicle stops growing because of the loss of stem cells and oil glands. The hair follicles are destroyed and scarring occurs.
There may be no visible symptoms in some cases. Most forms start with a small patch. In some other forms, there may be burning, tenderness, and itching, and the condition may progress rapidly.
The Diagnosis of Scarring Alopecia
Your doctor may diagnose Scarring Alopecia by observing the scalp, and the lost hair follicles or the patches, and yet a scalp biopsy is often necessary to be sure.
All Scarring Alopecia involve inflammation. In most cases, Alopecia Areata and Scarring Alopecia look different – the patches look different.
The Treatment of Scarring Alopecia
One loses their hair follicles forever in Scarring Alopecia. The lost hair does not grow back in the patches. An early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent extensive hair loss.
The treatment of Scarring Alopecia needs to be aggressive. It should depend on the diagnosis. If Scarring Alopecia occurs because of lymphocytes and neutrophils, retinoids, antimicrobials, and anti-inflammatory medications may be used.
Corticosteroids, topical tacrolimus, methotrexate are some of the other medications that doctors prescribe to treat Scarring Alopecia.
Once the condition stops, and if the patches are not too big, hair transplantation to these patches is a good option to have one’s hair back.