Diane M. Hoss, M.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology Director, Hair Loss and Scalp Disorders Clinic
Hair loss (alopecia) has a significant affect on the social and psychologic well-being of the patient. There are may causes of alopecia. Most hair problems seen by the practitioner are due to changes in hair-follicle cycling. Scarring alopecias are due to other causes. The ability to recognize that the hair loss process is a scarring or non scarring one is critical for accurate diagnosis. A history and examination of the hair and scalp is often enough to make a diagnosis. Biopsies are useful especially for the diagnosis of scarring alopecia. Female pattern hair loss is the most common problem seen in hair loss clinics. Male pattern hair loss can be treated with finasteride (Propecia). It is important to accurately diagnosis scarring alopecia. Scarring of the scalp causes irreversible destruction of hair follicles and permanent alopecia.