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ABSTRACT: Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia refers to a group of rare disorders that destroy the hair follicle and replace it with scar tissue, thereby causing permanent hair loss. It occurs worldwide in otherwise healthy men and women of all ages. This article chronicles the grassroots effort that resulted in forming the Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation (CARF), which became a nonprofit organization in 2005. CARF's mission is to promote research, to find better treatments and a cure for cicatricial alopecia, to support education and advocacy, and to raise public awareness. This article includes profiles of individuals with different forms of cicatricial alopecia and describes specific ways dermatology nurses can take advantage of CARF's resources as they care for patients with cicatricial alopecia and their families.
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