HAIR LOSS CONDITIONS: SPOTLIGHT ON CICATRICIAL ALOPECIA


As a leading hair clinic in Manchester, we encounter many different hair loss conditions every single day. We think that more people need to be aware of the different conditions and causes of hair loss, which is why we have another instalment of our hair loss condition spotlight for you!

There are many reasons why an individual may experience hair loss, and in this post we’re going to take a closer look at another form of alopecia which is known as cicatricial alopecia.

What is Cicatricial Alopecia?

Cicatricial alopecia (also referred to as scarring alopecia) is a rare condition which destroys hair follicles, leaving scar tissue in place of the follicle and causing permanent hair loss.

It has two forms; one which targets the follicle and a secondary form in which the follicle is destroyed by another cause, such as a severe burn or radiation.

However, this post will be focusing on the form which attacks the follicle directly. It is defined by the type of cells which are involved in the process; either lymphocytes or neutrophils. These immune cells inflame and cause damage to the hair follicle, destroying it and causing the hair loss.

Who Gets It?

The condition affects all ages and genders, but it is less common in children. It isn’t known exactly why cicatricial alopecia occurs but we do know why it causes permanent hair loss.

The inflammation of the cells occurs in the upper area of the hair follicle around the sebaceous glands and stem cells are. If these cells and glands are destroyed, hair can no longer grow from the follicle, resulting in permanent hair loss.

What are the Symptoms?

Depending on the case, hair loss may occur very quickly or alternatively at a more gradual pace. As there are various classifications of cicatricial alopecia depending on the cells that are involved, some symptoms may be more prevalent in some cases than others.

The main symptoms associated with the condition are as follows:

  • Severe itching
  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Inflamation.

As the inflammation is below the skins surface, you won’t necessarily be able to see the scarring that is occurring.

How Is It Treated?

Treatment is heavily dependent on the type of cells involved in each particular case.

If lymphocytes are the cause, medicines can be used to help remove the inflammatory cells such as corticosteroids, as well as oral medication such as antibiotics and immunosuppressive drugs.

If neutrophils are involved, oral and topical antibiotics can be used alongside anti inflammatory medications to help reduce the symptoms and the hair loss.

However, it’s important to tackle the condition early to reduce the amount of hair loss that you will encounter as once the follicles are destroyed, hair can’t grow back.

If your condition has been inactive for around 1-2 years, there is the option of hair replacement surgery, and that’s where we come in. Our team of experts will be able to assess your condition and possibly aid you with your dreams of hair restoration. It is important to note that cicatricial alopecia can reoccur even after restorative hair surgery.

If you would like to know more about our hair restoration services, contact our dedicated team today by calling us on 0161 8393769; we will be more than happy to discuss your queries with you and help you find the perfect solution for your hair loss.