Scarring Alopecia also referred to as Cicatricial Alopecia is a permanent hair loss disorder that affects healthy men and women. It is a rare disorder wherein hair follicles are entirely destroyed and replaced with scar tissue due to inflammation on the skin. This causes permanent hair loss. Due to inflammation, the person afflicted with this disease shows a smooth, shiny area without any presence of hair follicles and even the scars are not visible on the scalp.
Symptoms of Scarring Alopecia:
Rapid hair loss and scarring
Severe itching and burning sensation
Red scalp skin where hair is missing
Altered pigmentation in the scalp skin where hair is missing
Blistered scalp skin where hair is missing
Pain may be associated with hair loss
There are basically two forms of scarring alopecia including lymphocytes and Neutrophils.
The conditions caused by lymphocytes includes Lichen planopilaris, Central Centrifugal Cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) and Chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CCLE),
Lichen planopilaris: This is a type of chronic inflammatory skin disorder that affects the scalp causing scarring alopecia. Females are more suffer from hair loss condition during adulthood. It is observed that women who are afflicted with this disease tend to show redness and irritation on the skin where there is hair loss. Doctors usually offer treatment which may stop the disease from progressing.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial alopecia (CCCA): This condition generally begins from crown and gradually progresses slowly on the surrounding areas on the scalp. In its early signs, CCCA appears similar to female pattern baldness. The affected scalp is in parts smooth and shiny and illustrates massive follicular dropout.
Chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CCLE): This is a type of skin condition which is also known as discoid lupus and mostly affects people with lupus. Females between ages 20-50 are more frequently diagnosed for CCLE disorder. This form is characterized by inflammatory, scarring lesions mainly involving the head or neck, but also elsewhere, mostly on the photo-exposed areas.
The major type of Scarring Alopecia caused by Neutrophils include: Folliculitis Decalvans and Dissecting Cellulitis
Dissecting Cellulitis: This is a very rare scalp condition most commonly affecting African men. In this condition, where hair loss occurs due to development of pus-filled spots and lumps. Permanent hair loss on affected parts of the scalp is frequent, and it can be associated with other conditions such as acne and hidradenitis suppurativa.
Folliculitis decalvans: It is caused due to scarring. A person suffering from this disease may experience redness and swelling and pustules around the hair follicle that leads to destruction of the follicle and consequent permanent hair loss. Both men and women can get affected due to this disorder mostly during adulthood.
Causes of Scarring Alopecia
The causes of scarring of the scalp and hair loss can be associated with granulomatous diseases, lichen planus, scalp ringworm, folliculitis decalvans, bacterial, or viral infections fungal and inflammation of the hair follicles. In this medical condition, the stem cells and the sebaceous glands are attacked which leads to inflammation on the scalp. If the stem cells and the glands are destroyed, hair cannot regrow, and hair is permanently lost.
Treatment of Scarring Alopecia
Cicatricial or scarring alopecia is a group of a rare disorder that causes hair loss in men and women. Doctors usually provide treatment for this disorder that only helps to stop the disease from spreading. In some cases, physicians recommend for a skin biopsy to identify the specific type or form of the condition. Medicines are usually prescribed for curing the disorders caused due to lymphocytes. These medicines help to remove inflammatory cells. For disorders caused by neutrophils is treated with oral and topical antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.
The treatments may last for a long time until the signs and the symptoms are controlled, and the progression of the disease is stopped. However, it is seen that hair loss may continue to occur event after the disorder is controlled. The treatment of this condition basically depends on the underlying causes and the exact form of the disease. So, it is imperative to consult a physician for the accurate diagnosis of scarring alopecia.