Dissecting Cellulitis: Early Disease can look like Alopecia Areata

Early Disease can look like Alopecia Areata

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Dissecting cellulitis (DSC) is an uncommon hair loss condition characterized by boggy draining areas on the scalp. These areas frequently leave behind permanently scarred areas.

It is not difficult to recognize "classic" or well developed areas of dissecting cellulitis. The areas are weepy, draining pus and the patient is uncomfortable (often with itching, burning or pain). In early disease, where sinus tracts and skin breakdown might not be seen (or where they have healed) it is more challenging to detect DSC.

These areas can often resemble alopecia areata and may even be skin colored in some cases rather than red.

Treatment for dissecting cellulitis includes agents such as isotretinoin, antibiotics, TNF inhibitors as well as other treatments.

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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