Clinical Update: Alopecia

Alopecia, or hair loss, generally occurs on the scalp, but can also occur on the eyebrows, eyelashes, and bearded areas, as well as other parts of the body. The idiopathic form of alopecia is known as alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease and is generally reversible and self-limiting. Scarring alopecia, or cicatricial alopecia, causes irreversible hair loss and can result from destructive skin tumors, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, follicular lichen planus, and severe infections. Other forms of alopecia include physiologic alopecia, trichotillomania, and traction alopecia.

Diagnosis of alopecia is made based on physical examination, however underlying causes of hair loss must also be identified. Treatment is dependent on the type of alopecia and may include topical agents such as minoxidil, surgical autografting, injections of corticosteroids, and oral medications such as finasteride (only approved for men) and corticosteroids.


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This Just In

From Our Journals

 Discrete Patches of Hair Loss on the Scalp
Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, November/December 2017

 Minoxidil Use in Alopecia
Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, September/October 2017

 Microneedling in Dermatology: A Review
Plastic Surgical Nursing, July/September 2017

 Advances in Aesthetic Therapies: Plasma-Rich Protein Procedure for the Treatment of Alopecia
Plastic Surgical Nursing, April/June 2017

 Drugs in Dermatology: Finasteride in Androgenic Alopecia
Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, January/February 2017

 Bald Spot on the Scalp
Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, November/December 2016

 Case Report: Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, July/August 2015

 Hair Transplant: A Basic Review
Plastic Surgical Nursing, April/June 2015

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, November/December 2014

 Language of Dermatology: Describing the Hair and Related Abnormalities
Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, May/June 2012

On The Web

National Alopecia Areata Foundation
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
American Academy of Dermatology


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