Obtaining information from patients

What information is most important?

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When it comes to obtaining information from patients about their hair loss, every piece of information is potentially important. However, certain pieces of information are generally the most important. I refer to these as the “4 S’s.” Each letter S stands for distinct things that are important to know about including 1) the SPEED of the patients hair loss (ie fast or slow), 2) the SITES that are involved with hair loss (ie crown, frontal scalp, or even diffuse loss as well as information on eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair, etc), 3) the SYMPTOMS the patient might have (including itching, burning, tenderness, tingling) and 4) the degree of daily hair SHEDDING the patient feels they are having (normal shedding vs slightly increased vs markedly increased). These 4 S’s are among the most important of the questions a hair specialist can ask. It does not mean other questions are not important or relevant but simply these are key areas that must always be asked about as one thinks about the precise diagnosis.

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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