This is a controversial question, there has been one study that has caught the attention of physicians and patients around the world. A study by Aldoori et al compared how 105 women with FFA and 100 women without FFA responded to a lengthy survey.
Surprisingly, a much greater proportion of women with FFA reported using sunscreens (at least twice weekly) compared to women without FFA. Specifically, 48 % of FFA patients reported such sunscreen use compared to just 24 % of women without FFA.
We still have a long way to go to definitely prove sunscreens have a role. It is potentially the first environmental factor implicated in the way FFA develops. An environmental factor is certainly thought to be responsible given that FFA was relatively unheard of 20 years ago. More good studies are needed.
Aldoori N et al. Frontal fibrosing alopecia: possible association with leave-on facial skin care products and sunscreens; a questionnaire study. Br J Dermatol 2016.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299