Can hair transplants be performed for patients with scarring alopecia?
Scarring alopecia refers to a group of hair loss conditions that cause scarring in the skin and around the hair follicles. They lead to permanent hair loss. Examples of these conditions include conditions such as lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia, pseudopelade and folliculitis decalvans.
A hair transplant can be performed in these conditions provided the condition is "quiet" or "inactive." By quiet or inactive, I am referring to three conditions that need to be met.
CRITERIA FOR TRANSPLANTATION IN SCARRING ALOPECIA
1) The patient has had no further hair loss for 1 year
2) There are no further scalp symptoms, including itching, burning and pain
3) The patient has adequate amount of donor hair to move from one area of the body into another area
In the properly selected patient, hair transplants can work very well in patients with scarring alopecia. It is important to understand that these conditions can rarely 're-activate' after the transplant but this is not common. Nevertheless, patients must be followed regularly to evaluation for activation.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887