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Hair loss (alopecia) can occur for many different reasons. At the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, we know just how troubling it can be to lose ones hair. The most important step is to firstly establish the cause for your hair loss, and then, provided it is treatable, to try and reverse it.
Don’t let hair loss/alopecia ruin you life. Get in touch today and see if your condition can be treated.
Condition: Hair Loss/Alopecia
Alternative names: male/female pattern baldness, alopecia, alopecia areata, scarring/cicatricial alopecia, pseudopelade (of Brocq), folliculitis De Calvans, dissecting cellulitis, telogen effluvium
Alopecia and hair loss mean the same thing; reduction in hair density and increased hair fall. This can be a diffuse process or occur in localised areas on the scalp or other areas of the body. It can occur slowly over many years, or be rapidly progressive, occurring over days or weeks. There are many causes for alopcia (listed below) which can broadly be grouped into three categories: internal deficiencies, scalp disease or ‘other’ causes. The most important distinction is whether scarring is a feature or not, because this will dictate how successful treatment can be.
Hair loss may be diffuse (i.e. androgenic) or localised (i.e. alopecia areata). If there is scarring, the skin might be featureless with loss of hair follicles and pigment. Please see images of some common causes of alopecia.
The degree of psychological stress caused by alopecia is usually related to the extent of alopecia and the ease (or lack thereof) with which the condition can be covered or hidden.
The most important part of treatment is to make the correct diagnosis and there is nobody more qualified than a consultant dermatologist. Diagnosis will involve a consultation, full scalp examination and sometimes blood testing to establish if there is a deficiency or hormonal problem. If scalp disease is present or a diagnosis is not straightforward, a scalp biopsy might be undertaken to examine the process at a microscopic level. The key to treatment is establishing if the condition is scarring or not. If it is scarring, it is important to switch off the process as quickly as possible to prevent progression, as scarred areas will NOT regrow. Non-scarring alopecia can recover fully with treatment, but may gradually progress over time.
For further information on alopecia, see the British Association of Dermatologists websites patient information pages: