Hair loss is a very common concern for both men and women. With over 35 years of experience specializing in hair loss prevention and restoration, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Edmond Griffin encourages his patients to first identify the cause of their hair loss to determine the most effective treatment regimen for their specific needs. Although not as common as other forms of hair loss such as patterned baldness, scarring alopecia is diagnosed in up to 3% of hair loss patients.
In general, scarring alopecia (cicatricial alopecia) can occur in healthy individuals and can potentially cause permanent and irreversible destruction to the hair follicles. The destruction of the hair follicles occurs below the skin’s surface; individuals suffering from scarring alopecia may have varying symptoms as some notice gradual hair loss while others have rapid progression. Scarring hair loss may present in a variety of ways but most patients notice slick areas of the scalp with loss of the hair follicles. Alopecia areata is another type of hair loss that may be confused with scarring alopecia. In most cases, alopecia areata presents as round patches of hair loss that show up very quickly. This type of hair loss is the result of inflammation around the hair follicles but does not result in scarring. It is important to be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in hair loss to determine whether or not scarring alopecia is present and to formulate the best treatment plan.
During an initial consultation, the first and most important step is to diagnose the cause of each patient’s hair loss. Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis meet with patients to evaluate the extent of destruction of hair follicles, examine scar tissue and determine the presence of inflammation. In some cases, a biopsy is necessary to evaluate for the presence of scarring and determine the specific type of hair loss. After a diagnosis is made, an appropriate treatment plan is tailored to begin treating scarring alopecia. Treatment options range from topical and oral medications, platelet rich plasma (PRP) procedures, red light treatments and possibly hair transplant.
For more information about scarring alopecia or hair loss prevention tips and treatment from the Griffin Center, please contact us to schedule a consultation. Be sure to connect with The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration news and information.