Alopecia areata: One of the many 'non-scarring' alopecias

Alopecia Areata is Non-scarring


It's hard to believe that there are so many different reasons for hair loss. We see about a dozen causes commonly in the office each week but many more rarer entities exist.

Hair loss is frequently divided into two big groups - "scarring" and "non-scarring." Alopecia areata is an example of a non scarring alopecia. Clinically, when one looks at the scalp up close as in the accompanying dermatoscopic image, it can be seen that the hair follicle openings are present. If one were to biopsy the scalp in this condition, there would not be scar tissue present. 

The entities in this group of "non-scarring alopecias" theoretically have the potential to regrow although regrowth is more difficult for some of the non scarring alopecias compared to others. Common non scarring alopecias include alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, tinea, trichotillomania, and traction alopecia.

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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