A Closer Look at the Concept of Permanent Hair Loss in Scarring Alopecia
Scarring alopecias destroy stem cells and impair the regenerative ability of the hair. Although hair loss in scarring alopecia is typically viewed as permanent, this is not the case for all patients.
Some patients with scarring alopecia experience various degrees of improvement in their hair density with proper treatment. In general, patients with recent onset early-staged scarring alopecia who are treated with appropriate medications have a greater chance of experiencing an improvement in hair density than patients with long standing scarring alopecia.
Dissecting cellulitis, discoid lupus all carry significant regrowth potential in the early stages. Not all patients experience such improvement bit some do. A proportion of patients with recent onset of large patches of hair loss may experience improvement in hair density. This typically requires a combination of systemic and topical treatment. A proportion of patients with lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia may also improve hair density to some slight extent if the disease is treated in the early stages- and aggressively.
Aggressive treatment typically means combination therapy with oral medications, topical medications and possibly also steroid injections.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss.
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