Sunscreens & frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

Is there a connection for males with FFA?

FFA is more common in women than in men. The reasons why remain unknown. As we discussed yesterday, a great deal of controversy was generated when Dr. Messenger and colleagues suggested that sunscreen use could contribute to the development of FFA. There are a whole lot of people who disagree with the conclusions and the way the study was conducted. Nevertheless, the findings are interesting and raise the possibility of a link. 

In a new study, Dr. Messenger examined the role of sunscreen use and moisturizers in FFA in male patients. 17 men with FFA were surveyed and data compared to survey data in 73 men who did not have FFA. It was found that a greater proportion of men with FFA reported using sunscreens twice per week compared to men without FFA (35 vs 4 %). As well, 100 % of men with FFA reported use of facial moisturizers compared to 40 % of men without FFA.

This is a fascinating study. Like every interesting study, there are always many more questions that arise at the end of the study. This is the second study to suggest that ingredients in sunscreens and facial moisturizers may contribute to FFA. 

Debroy-Kidambi et al. Frontal fibrosing alopecia in men: an association with facial moisturizers and sunscreens. British Journal of Dermatology 2017.

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

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