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Risk of Fibroids Increased in Women with CCCA

Five Fold increased Risk of Fibroids in Women with CCCA  

ccca

A new study, published in JAMA Dermatology, has given evidence that women with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) are at increased risk of developing benign uterine tumors known as fibroids.  The medical terms for these are uterine leiomyomas.

CCCA is a type of scarring alopecia that occurs predominantly in women with afro-textured hairs. This new data suggests that a genetic predisposition to develop excessive scar tissue in other area of the body may be central to the underlying mechanisms that cause these two diseases.  

The researchers analyzed data from over 487,000 black women and examined the incidence of fibroids in women with CCCA and those without CCCA. Out of 486,000 women in the general population,  3.3 % had fibroids. However, 13.9 % of women with CCCA were found to have fibroids. Taken together, this works out to a five fold increased risk of fibroids in women with CCCA.

 

Conclusion

There is an increased risk of uterine fibroids in women with CCCA.  Whether there is an increased risk of other scarring related diseases of the body warrants further study.

 
 

REFERENCE

 
Dina et al. Association of Uterine Leiomyomas With Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia. JAMA Dermatology, 2017; DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5163


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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Hair Transplants for Folliculitis Decalvans: Is it even possible?

FOLLICULITIS DECALVANS

HAIR TRANSPLANT CANDIDACY CRITERIA

 

fd.jpg

The criteria we use in our clinic for evaluating folliculitis decalvans candidacy are among the most strict of all the scarring alopecia criteria. Hair transplants for folliculitis decalvans can be very challenging. Chances of success are low although successes to occur. In order to be a candidate for hair transplant surgery,  ALL FIVE of the following criteria MUST be met in a patient with folliculitis decalvans:

 

1.  The PATIENT should be off all hair-related medications.

Ideally the patient should be off all topical, oral and injection medications to truly know that the disease is "burned out (burnt out)". However, in some RARE cases, it may be possible to perform a transplant in someone using medications AND who meets criteria 2, 3 and 4 below.  This should only be done on a case by case basis and in rare circumstances. It is a 'last resort' in a well-informed patient. 

 

2. The PATIENT must not report symptoms related to the FD in the past 24 months. 

The patient must have no significant itching, burning or pain and no bleeding. One must always keep in mind that the absence of symptoms does not prove the disease is quiet.  Even the periodic development of itching or burning from time to time could indicate the disease has triggers that cause a flare and that the patient is not a candidate for surgery. The patient who dabs a bit of clobetasol now and then on the scalp to control a bit of itching may also have disease that is not completely quiet.  The patient with itching every now and then is also a worry. 

 

3. The PHYSICIAN must make note of no clinical evidence of active disease in the past 24 months. 

There must be no scalp clinical evidence of active FD such as perifollicular erythema, pustules, crusting, perifollicular scale (follicular hyperkeratosis). This assessment is best done with a patient who has not washed his or her hair for 48 hours.

The most important clinical features in our opinion are SCALP CRUSTING and REDNESS AROUND THE HAIRS. Some scalp redness may be persistent in patients with scarring alopecia even when the disease is quiet. Therefore scalp redness alone does not necessarily equate to a concerning finding. Perifollicular redness (redness around the hairs) however is more concerning for disease activity.  In addition, the pull test must be completely negative for anagen hairs and less than 4 for telogen hairs.  A positive pull test for anagen hairs indicates an active scarring alopecia regardless of any other criteria.

 

4. Both the PATIENT and PHYSICIAN must demonstrate no evidence of ongoing hair loss over the past 24 months.  

There must be no further hair loss over a period of 24 months of monitoring off the previous hair loss treatment medications. This general includes the patient's perceptions and physician's perception that there has been no further loss, physician's measurements showing no changes in the areas of hair loss, as well as serial photographs every 6-12 months showing no changes. 

 

5. The patient must have sufficient donor hair for the transplant. 

Not all patients with FD have sufficient donor hair even if their disease has become quiet.   

In situations where there is concern that the FD may be active or concern that the surgery may not be a success, strong consideration should be given to performing a 'test session' of 50-100 grafts and observing their survival over a period of 6-9 months. Less than 40 % uptake would intake a contraindication, although ideally one would hope for survival of more than 70% of the grafts.

 

For Further Reading

 

Lichen Planopilaris Transplant Candidacy

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia Transplant Candidacy

Trichotillomania Candidacy: Can a patient with trichotillomania have a hair transplant?  

 


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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Hair transplantation for central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA)

Scarring Hair Loss Conditions in Black Women : Is hair transplantation an option?

**CLICK TO ENLARGE ** Photo of top of scalp in woman with CCCA

Diagnosing hair loss in women with afro-textured hair requires special expertise. Many hair loss conditions are possible and they tend to look similar. Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) can look similar to genetic hair loss and so can some types of traction alopecia. Our program for women with afro-textured hair addresses some of the unique aspects of hair loss and hair care in black women. 

 

Hair transplantation in CCCA

Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (or "CCCA" for short) is a type of scarring hair loss condition in black women. Hair loss starts in the centre of the scalp and spreads outwards over time. If treated early, the condition may be halted - at least for some women. Hair transplants are possible in CCCA once the condition becomes quiet. Usually this means no further hair loss for a period of 1-2 years. 


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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Dutasteride and Finasteride: New data suggests no Link with breast cancer in men

Dutasteride and Finasteride: Do they cause breast cancer?

Finasteride (Propecia) and dutasteride (Avodart) are prescribed for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Many of my male hair transplant patients receive finasteride or dutasteride in order to help reduce the progression of balding in existing hairs.  

Finasteride and dustasteride belong to a group of drugs called "5 alpha reductase inhibitors." They block the enzyme 5 alpha reductase and decrease the levels of the potent androgen hormone DHT (dihidrotestosterone). In addition to reducing DHT, the drugs increase the levels of estrogen slightly which has raised questions from physician and researchers around the world as to whether these drugs increase the risk of breast cancer in men.

US researchers set out to examine the relationship between the use of 5 alpha reductase inhibitors and male breast cancer. They studied men using the higher 5 mg dose of finasteride used in prostate enlargement (rather than the 1 mg dose used in hair loss) and the 0.5 mg dose of dutasteride.  They looked at the use of these drugs in 339 men with breast cancer and 6,780 men without breast cancer.

What were the findings and conclusions from the study?

The authors did not find an association between using 5 alpha reductase inhibitors and the development of breast cancer in men. Overall, the authors concluded that the "development of breast cancer should not influence the prescribing of 5 alpha reductase inhibitor therapy."

 

Reference

Bird ST et al. Male breast cancer and 5 alpha reductase inhibitors finasteride and dustasteride. J Urology; 190:1811-4


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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Minoxidil - Does it help with hair loss ... in the front ... or top .. or both?

Accumulating evidence suggests minoxidil helps with hair loss in the crown (top) but may help hair loss in the front and temples in men as well.

Accumulating evidence suggests minoxidil helps with hair loss in the crown (top) but may help hair loss in the front and temples in men as well.

Minoxidil - Does it help with hair loss in the front?

Minoxidil is a topical medication that is FDA approved for treating genetic hair loss (sometimes referred to as androgenetic alopecia). If you pick up a bottle of minoxidil it will state that it is to be used for hair loss in the crown in men and may not benefit other areas of hair loss. The original studies of minoxidil focused on the crown and did not address the benefit in the front of the scalp.

So the question that remains is:  

Does minoxidil help men with hair loss in the front of the scalp or not?

Certainly, the answer is yes.   Many hair loss specialists around the world, including myself,  have witnessed benefit to minoxidil in the front of the scalp in balding men.  However, the companies which produce minoxidil are not setting out to formally prove the benefit in the front of the scalp and are not seeking approval from health regulatory authorities to be able to change the labelling on the bottles to indicate that it "works in the front and back."

New study shows 5 % minoxidil benefits men with hair loss in the temples

Back in the month of May 2013, I attended the World Congress of Hair Research in Edinburgh Scotland. A really nice study was presented by Dr. Blume Peytavi and colleagues from Berlin, Germany. They studied 70 men with moderate genetic hair loss and studied whether minoxidil 5 % foam could help hair loss in the crown and in the front.  The German group showed that men using minoxidil 5 % foam did obtain benefit from using the medication in the front and in the crown.  This was one of the very first studies showing the minoxidil foam benefits hair loss in the front.

Conclusion: 

Minoxidil has long been known to benefit men with hair loss in the crown. Accumulating evidence suggests it also benefits men with hair loss in the front (temples). More studies are needed to determine just 'how much' it helps men with hair loss in the front. In general, minoxidil seems to work better in the earliest stages of hair loss - as hairs are thinning and miniaturizing. 

Reference

Hillman K, Bartels GN, Stroux A, Canfield D, and Blume-Peytavi U. Investigator-initiated double blind, two-armed, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial with an open -label extension phase, to investigate efficacy of 5 % Minoxidil topical foam twice daily in men with androgenetic alopecia in the fronto-temporal and vertex region concerning hair volume over 24/52 weeks.  Poster at: World Congress of Hair Research, Edinburgh Scotland May 2013.

 

 


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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The Hair Whorl: Importance in Transplanting the Crown

Transplanting the Crown

In the top of the scalp or crown, there is usually one or two areas where the hair changes direction from forward pointing to backward pointing. We call this area the “hair whorl.”

whorl upload2.png

When I perform a hair transplant, I view the reconstruction of the hair whorl as being incredibly important in order to create a natural look.  For most individuals, the hair whorl is positioned in a clockwise direction.   About 2-5 % of the world has a double whorl.

Hair Whorl Research

Interestingly, recent research has focused on whether there is a relationship between the direction of the hair whorl and an individual’s tendency to be left handed or right handed.  There is some thought that genes controlling handedness also might control our hair whorl.  Research by Dr Klar showed that right-handed individuals are more likely to have a clockwise whorl pattern; for left- handed individuals there is a similar proportion of clockwise and counter-clockwise patterns.  Specifically, 8.4 % of right-handed individuals have a counterclockwise whorl compared to 45 % of left handed people.  Despite these interesting findings, the exact science of the relationship between hair whorl direction and ‘handedness’ remains a subject of controversy.

All in all, the hair whorl is something I pay particular attention to when transplanting the crown.  The rotations and directions of the hair need to be followed carefully in order for a hair transplant to look natural.

REFERENCES OF INTEREST

Beaton AA and Mellor G. Direction of hair whole and handedness.Laterality 2007; 12: 295-301

Klar, A.J.S., 2003. Human handedness and scalp hair-whorl direction develop from a common genetic mechanism. Genetics 165, 269–276

 

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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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INCREASED RISK OF HEART DISEASE IN MEN WITH HAIR LOSS

Do balding men have an increased risk for heart disease?

male balding crown (androgenetic alopecia, male).jpg

Several studies in the past have examined the relationship between balding and heart disease.   In a study published in this month's British Medical Journal, researchers from Japan carefully examined all of the research studies to date focusing on the relationship between hair loss and heart disease.

 

Balding and heart disease: what did the new research find?

The researchers looked at studies involving 36,690 balding men and found that men with hair loss in the top of the scalp or ‘vertex’, had an increased risk of heart disease.  Interestingly, men with more severe balding had a greater risk of heart disease compared to men with lesser degrees of balding in the vertex.  Men with hair loss in the front of the scalp did not demonstrate an increased risk of heart disease.  

The exact reasons why balding men have increased heart disease risk is not clear but may be related to common mechanisms that lead to heart disease and hair loss including high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, insulin resistance and increased inflammation in blood vessels.

These findings are important for the approximately 4 million Canadian men and 40 million American men affected with male balding.

SOURCE:   Yamada et al. Male pattern baldness and its association with coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis. BMJ Open; 2013; e002537.

 

 


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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Hair Transplantation for Early Hair Thinning: Things to Think About

Hair Transplantation for Early Hair Thinning:

It comes as a surprise to some patients who come to see me that they are not candidates for hair transplant surgery. Some patients are too young, some have hair loss diseases for which a transplant won't ever 'work,' some have too little hair (or are destined to be too bald to make a transplant a good idea).  Finally, some individuals have too much hair.

It's this last issue that I'd like to discuss today - transplanting in areas of hair loss which are undergoing thinning but not yet significantly thin. Is it a good idea to transplant hairs in this area to prevent it from ever looking thin?

density crown.png

Is some cases the answer is yes, in other cases - no.  Even with the most delicate and meticulous surgery, exisiting hairs on the scalp can be damaged if the density is too high. There is a critical density below which a cosmetic improvement can be achieved.

Consider the young man (photo on the right) who came to see me for advice on getting a hair transplant. Is he a good candidate for hair transplant surgery? 

Not ideal.  A hair transplant in this man is unlikely to significantly improve density. This man would be much better off considering medical treatment with minoxidil and/or finasteride before considering hair restoration. Othe treatments could also be considered, including low light laser therapy. If these (and other) medical treatments didn't help, we could certainly discuss a hair transplant. 

At slightly reduced densities, it's possible to achieve a great cosmetic change. New hairs can be placed "between" the existing hairs in order to build a new density - without damaging any of the existing hairs.

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I'm a big believer in transplanting in the early stages of hair loss in order to prevent the appearance of hair loss. But there is a fine line between when this is a good idea, and when it's not likely to provide the patient any benefit.


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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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Finasteride Use by Young Men: Not only for Baldness in the Crown !

male balding crown (androgenetic alopecia, male).jpg

Finasteride Use by Young Men

For years, we've largely assumed that finasteride helps men with hair loss in the crown, but does little for men with hair loss in the front of the scalp or the temples.

A new study by US researchers has nicely shown that finasteride 1 mg daily can help young men with male pattern balding regardless of where on the scalp the man has hair thinning.

The researchers studied men 18 to 60 years of age for a period of two years. Four areas of the scalp were examined: (1) vertex (crown), (2) the mid-scalp, (3) the frontal hair line and (4) the temples.

What were the results of the study?

The study showed that young men benefitted from taking finasteride - regardless of where there hair thinning occured. Young men (age 18-40) with hair loss in front, temples, mid-scalp or crown all had benefit from taking finasteride. However, the same was not true of men age 41-60. Men in this slightly older group benefitted most if their hair loss was in the crown and the mid-scalp.

Reference

Olsen EA et al. Global photographic assessment of men aged 18 to 60 with male pattern hair loss receiving finasteride 1 mg or placebo.  J Am Acad Dermatol 2012; 67: 379-86. (click for abstract)

 


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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February is Heart Health Month: What does your hair tell about your heart?

 

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada and the United States. In fact, about one out of every three deaths is due to heart disease and stroke. February is designated heart health month - a great time for us all to think about risk factors for heart disease and all the things we candue to reduce our risk of heart disease. It’s also a great time to discuss the relationship between male and female balding and heart disease.

About 50 % of men and 30 % of women will develop genetic balding by age 50. The medical term for genetic balding is “androgenetic alopecia”. In men, androgenetic alopecia causes hair loss in the front, temples and the crown and may even involve the entire frontal scalp. In women, androgenetic hair loss causes hair loss in the centre of the scalp. 

Is there a link between balding and heart disease?

The answer is yes. Several large research studies have confirmed an association between androgenetic hair loss and heart disease.  It seems that men who develop early balding have a higher risk to develop coronary artery disease.  This may be especially true in younger men who develop rapid balding.   New research is showing that the same relationship is true for women.

This doesn’t mean that hair loss causes heart disease or heart disease causes hair loss. Rather it tells us that the two are linked somehow through a similar process: men and women who develop early hair thinning also tend to have a higher chance to get heart disease.

Why is this information important?

The research is important for a number of reasons. If you are young and have androgenetic alopecia, do what you can to minimize your risk factors for heart disease.

If you are young and have androgenetic alopecia, do what you can to minimize your risk factors for heart disease. Eat well, excercise, get your blood pressure checked to make sure you don't have high blood pressure (hypertension).  Ask your physician about checking cholesterol and blood sugar levels. If you smoke, get help to stop.

I often encourage young men and women with early balding to get tested for all the heart disease risk factors. This involves getting a blood pressure measurement, checking cholesterol and fat levels, checking for diabetes or pre-diabetes and making sure that these individuals are getting enough exercise.  Although I encourage all smokers to stop smoking (as smoking negatively impacts hair), I advise those with early balding to quit smoking and smoking is a top risk factor for heart disease.

Happy Heart Month!

 

References

Lotufo, PA Chae CU, Ajani UA, Hennekens CH, et al. Male pattern baldness and coronary heart disease: the Physicians Health Study. Arch Intern Med 2000; 160 (2): 165 - 71.

Lesko SM, Rosenberg L, Shapiro S. A case-control study of baldness in relation to myocardial infarction in men. J Am Med Assoc 1993; 269: 998 - 1003.

Trevisan M, Farinaro E , Krogh V, et al. Baldness and coronary heart disease risk factors. J Clin Epidemiol 1993; 46 (10): 1213-8.

Cotton SG, Nixon JM, Carpenter RG, et al. Factors discriminating men with coronary heart disease from healthy controls. Br Heart J 1972; 34: 458-64.

Ford ES, Freedman DS, Byers T. Baldness and ischemic heart disease in a national sample of men. Am J Epidemiol 1996; 143 (7): 651 - 7.

Herrera CR, DAgostino RB, Gerstman BB,et al. Baldness and coronary heart disease rates in men from the Framingham Study. AM J Epidemiol 1995; 142(8): 828 - 33.

Persson B, Johansson BW. The Kockum study: twenty two - year follow - up coronary heart disease in a population in the south of Sweden. Acta Med Scand 1984; 216(5): 485-93.

 

 



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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