There is so much confusion around the various types of alopecia particularly Scarring Alopecia. What is it and how does it impact someone that's diagnosed with it?
I’ve lived with Scarring Alopecia for over 15 years and the amount of misinformation and lack of information does such a disservice to anyone living with this condition and trying to learn more about it. As a wellness expert and former trichologist I want to ensure that those living with SA are knowledgeable about the condition and their options for managing their wellness, so let me explain in detail what Scarring Alopecia is and what it isn't.
SCARRING ALOPECIA IN DETAIL
Scarring Alopecia is a broad term for over 15 types of PERMANENT hair loss. THE ONLY WAY TO GET A PROPER DIAGNOSIS IS WITH A CORE BIOPSY. YOU CAN HAVE MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF ALOPECIA AT ONE TIME. I have 3 different types. Treatment is to prevent further hair loss NOT regrow hair from the follicles that have died from being choked out by inflammation.
CCCA - Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia is a category of SC that involves Lymphocyte Inflammation.
There are 3 forms of inflammation involved in SA.
Lymphocyte - inflammation of follicles. Treated with corticosteroids, anti malarial & isotretinoin drugs (used to treat severe acne).
Neutrophils Inflammation - Treated with antibiotics Experimental antibiotic treatments include - Methotrexate, Tacrolimus, Cyclosporine, Thalidomide
Mixed Cell Inflammation - Treated with antibiotics and steroids.
Types Scarring Alopecia
Lymphocyte Inflammation - CCCA
LP - Lichen Planopilris
FF - Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
LA - Lipedemotous Alopecia
AM - Alopecia Mucinosa
FD - Folliculitis Decalvans
TF - Tufted Folliculitis
DC - Dissecting Cellulitis
FK - Folliculitis Keloidalis
AK - Acne Keloidalis
EPF - Eosinophilic Pustular Folliculitis
ECVA - Cicatricial Vertex Alopecia (formerly FDS - Follicular Degeneration Syndrome and Formerly Hot Comb Alopecia)
Pseudopelade of Brocq
NON SCARRING ALOPECIA (can grow back but can also be permanent)
Alopecia Areata (can grow back with or without treatment)
Telegenic Effluvium (medication, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, stress, severe illness related - can grow back with or without treatment)
Trichotillomania (hair pulling)
Androgenetic Alopecia (pattern baldness - can grow back with treatment but once treatment stops hair will come out again)
Alopecia Totalis - lose all hair on scalp.
Alopecia Universalis - lose all hair on body.
Both can grow back and come out over and over.
This list is not exhaustive but this provides you with an idea of how complicated understanding SA can be and why what may work well for one person may not work at all for another.
Many women have experienced doctors just telling them they have SA but not explaining what that means for them and many times making the diagnosis without doing a core biopsy. Use this information to empower yourself and ask all the questions you need to. Unfortunately women are sometimes disregarded when it comes to hair loss but armed with the proper information you can advocate for yourself and those you love.