Alopecia

Background

  • Alopecia is defined as hair loss [1]

Clinical Features

  • Hair loss
  • The pattern of hair loss can help determine diagnosis

Differential Diagnosis

  • Alopecia areata
  • Lupus
  • Trauma - Burns, Direct Trauma
  • Syphilis
  • Hair pulling - Trichotillomania
  • Tinea Capitis
  • Radiation
  • Oncologic
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Stress - Telogen effluvium
  • Trichotillomania

Evaluation

  • Careful history and physical
  • Mostly clinical diagnosis

Management

  • Treat the underlying cause
  • Tinea treated with either topical or systemic antifungals
  • Dermatology referral especially for cicatrial alopecia (inflammatory disorders of scalp that lead to permanent hair loss)
  • Psych referral for trichotillomania

Disposition

See Also

External Links

National Alopecia Arata Foundation

References

  1. Greenberg, M et al. Greenberg's Text Atlas of Emergency Medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2005. 442