Hair loss and Alopecia Introduction
Alopecia is simply defined as any type of hair loss. The alopecias are conventionally grouped into non-scarring and scarring categories. Non-scarring alopecias may be localized or diffuse. Since the follicles are not destroyed in the non-scarring alopecias, there is potential for regrowth or return to normal hair density in these conditions. Scarring alopecias result in follicular destruction and permanent hair loss. There is some confusion in this categorization scheme because some of the non-scarring alopecias can eventuate over many years into areas of permanent alopecia through follicular drop-out.?
When confronted with a patient complaining of alopecia, one must take a relevant history, perform an appropriate physical exam and obtain pertinent laboratory tests, including a scalp biopsy, if indicated.