Localized hair loss

Unlike diffuse hair loss, localized hair loss is restricted to certain areas of the scalp. Several factors may cause this pathology to develop, thus altering one’s self-esteem and leaving a significant psychological impact.



Localized hair loss: the importance of the clinical examination

Hair loss that appears in a very distinct area on the scalp and head is referred to as localized hair loss or localized alopecia. In this case, unlike with diffuse hair loss, where the hair falls evenly over the entire scalp, bald spots begin to develop in specific areas of the head. Different areas may be affected and vary depending on the various types of hair loss.

It is highly recommended to consult a dermatologist. A health professional will use the dermatoscope to diagnose this type of hair loss. This quick and simple method has improved the diagnosis and follow-up of scalp diseases. Mainly, it helps differentiate occasional or chronic hair loss from androgenetic alopecia. In addition, the pull test is conducted to determine the type of hair loss, so whether it is telogen effluvium or another type of hair loss.

What are the primary types of localized hair loss?

  • Baldness is the most common form of androgenetic alopecia, resulting in localized hair loss in men, around the temple regions and the hairline. It is more diffuse among women.
  • Traction alopecia, which is caused by overly tight and heavy hair styles, occurs with repeated pulling on the scalp. These mechanical manipulations result in regular hair loss localized around the hairline.
  • Cicatricial alopecia, or scarring hair loss, is a rare and chronic condition that causes inflammation of the affected areas on the scalp. The hair follicles are destroyed and, as a result, permanent hair loss is observed in certain areas.
  • Alopecia areata is a dermatological condition characterized by small bald patches. Anyone can be affected and at any age. This autoimmune disease progresses differently from one person to the next, but in the majority of cases, hair grows back in the area within the following 6 to 12 months.
  • Some fungal scalp infections, such as tinea, may cause localized alopecia on different areas of the head. A medicinal treatment is required.
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