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Don't Let Hair Loss Tangle You Up: Dermatologists Can Identify Common Hair Disorders and Offer Solutions
Date:2/3/2008

on the top of the scalp and is commonly accompanied by hair loss in the area in front of the ears, which is called traction hair loss. In Dr. McMichael's practice, the African-American patients she treats for this condition are between 25 and 65 years of age. Many patients delay treatment for this condition as they think their hair loss will be temporary and not a sign of a more serious and potentially permanent condition. Unfortunately, this delay in treatment can lead to progressive hair loss that, in some cases, is irreversible.

"Even though we are seeing more and more cases of central centrifugal scarring alopecia in our practices, there are very few published studies on the condition and its treatment," said Dr. McMichael. "Once diagnosed, we can use anti-inflammatory medications, such as steroids and oral antibiotics, to reduce the inflammation. Topical minoxidil also works in some cases to stimulate hair growth in unscarred hair follicles."

Dr. McMichael added that she expects more novel therapies to be used in the future to reverse or prevent hair loss, which may include alternative medicines, nutritional supplements and new combination therapies.

"There is interesting cellular biology research taking place throughout the world in which researchers are figuring out how to grow human hair cells in a lab so they can be produced from one or two cells and transplanted into patients," said Dr. McMichael. "In the meantime, we have many effective treatments that we can use once a patient's hair loss is properly diagnosed."

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 15,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practi
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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