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Traction alopecia: a neglected entity in 2017

Akingbola, Christiana Oyinlola and Vyas, Jui 2017. Traction alopecia: a neglected entity in 2017. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 83 (6) , pp. 644-649. 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_553_16

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Traction alopecia was first described in 1904 but is still a cause of scarring hair loss in young women worldwide. It is unique in being initially a reversible then an irreversible (scarring) form of alopecia. Linked to tightly-pulled hairstyles, it is seen across all races. The pattern of hair loss depends on the style creating it but most commonly affects the frontotemporal hairline. There are some new examination findings associated with traction alopecia, which are traction folliculitis, the fringe sign and hair casts (pseudonits) on dermatoscopy. These may prove key in prompting early specialist referral. The mainstay of current treatment is cessation of the contributing hairstyles. Camouflage, anti-inflammatory or growth-stimulating topical preparations are second line treatments. In later stages of severe traction alopecia hair transplantation may be the only effective treatment. The evidence basis for medical intervention with topical agents is anecdotal at best. Furthermore, additional research is required to clarify the pathogenesis of this biphasic alopecia. Until then, prompt diagnosis and identification of causative hairstyles are focus of current dermatological practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Medknow Publications
ISSN: 0378-6323
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2019 07:57

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