Scarring Alopecia - Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

4 September, 2019 | Hair Loss
Also known as cicatricial alopecia, scarring alopecia is a collection of inflammatory hair loss disorders that causes destruction of the hair follicles and results in bald patches on the scalp.

According to the best hair transplant surgeons in India, scarring alopecia is a rare hair loss disorder that occurs in about 3% to 7% of healthy men and women. 

People who suffer from scarring alopecia often feel distressed as they fall short of options to regrow their hair. Some of the common inflammatory disorders that may lead to scarring alopecia include discoid lupus erythematosus, lichen planopilaris, and folliculitis. 

Symptoms of scarring alopecia 

Scarring alopecia begins as small patches that may expand into permanent baldness over time. These bald patches on the scalp have a smooth and shiny appearance. Moreover, the skin pores are absent due to the complete destruction of hair follicles. Some other symptoms include:

• Burning sensation in the scalp

• Itchy scalp

• Pain

• Formation of blisters

• Pus

• Crusting

• Patches of rough and dry skin 

Causes of scarring alopecia

Though inflammation is said to be the major contributing factor, some other causes of scarring alopecia include:

• Destruction of hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs)

• Impaired self-maintenance of hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs)

• Alteration in lipid metabolism

• Injuries, burns, and tumors 

• Genetic factors

Classifications of scarring alopecia

Scarring alopecia is often categorized as primary, secondary, and hereditary alopecia.

1. Primary scarring alopecia: Primary scarring alopecia occurs when the hair follicles are completely destroyed and replaced with scar tissues. These hair follicles are attacked by inflammatory cells such as neutrophils, lymphocytes, or combination of these cells. 

2. Secondary scarring alopecia: This kind of irreversible scarring alopecia occurs when the hair follicles are damaged due to cancers, injuries, burns, or radiation therapy.   

3. Hereditary alopecia: Hereditary alopecia or male pattern baldness/female pattern baldness is a result of a combination of various factors such as genetics, hormonal imbalance, and ageing.

Diagnosis and Treatments 

The diagnosis of scarring alopecia is the first and foremost step towards appropriate treatment. It is mainly based on factors such as:

• Scalp biopsy

• Scalp examination

• Age of the patient

• Hair pull test

• Absence of pores in hair loss areas

• Symptoms such as burning, itching, and discharge from the scalp

As the damage done by scarring alopecia is irreversible, medical treatment for these disorders can only restrict the further spread of the disease and reduce the symptoms of inflammation. Moreover, a hair restoration surgery can be performed to cover the bald patches on the scalp, but only if the disease is in an inactive mode. However, it is vital for patients to visit the top hair transplant clinic in order to get the right treatment at the earliest.

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Disclaimer: The content published on this website (hairtransplantdelhi.org) is meant to spread awareness and educate the concerned patients regarding baldness and hair transplant as well as the treatments options available for the same. Any information on the website shall not be regarded as a prescription from a professional dermatologist. We recommend visiting a dermatologist in person for the right diagnosis and the treatment for any hair issues. We do not guarantee of specific results as the treatments and the results vary from person to person.

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