Language of Dermatology: Describing the Hair and Related Abnormalities
Christina P. Linton

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association
June 2012 
Volume 4  Number 3
Pages 207 - 208
  PDF Version Available!

ALOPECIA - Hair loss, usually on the scalp.ANAGEN - Phase of hair growth; lasts for variable periods of time depending on body site. Hairs in this phase have pigmented, malleable proximal ends.ARRECTOR PILI MUSCLE - Bundles of smooth muscle fibers that are attached to the deep part of the hair follicles and act to pull the hairs erect.BULB - Lowermost portion of the hair follicle.CANITIES - Graying of hair.CASTS - Remnants of the inner root sheath that may mimic nits. Unlike nits (which are firmly attached), hair casts slide freely along the shaft. Also called pseudonits.CATAGEN - Regression phase in between the telogen and anagen phases; driven by massive keratinocyte apoptosis, which leads to involution of the lower two thirds of the hair follicle.CICATRICIAL ALOPECIA - Irreversible loss of hair follicles with disappearance of follicular ostia. Also called scarring alopecia.CORTEX - Comprises the bulk of the hair shaft and contains melanin; situated between the medulla (in larger hairs)

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