Alopecia (hair loss) has many causes. These can be broadly divided into scarring and non-scarring.

Causes of scarring alopecia:
  • Radiation
  • Burns
  • Systemic disease
    • Discoid lupus erythematosus
    • Sarcoidosis
    • Lichen planus
    • Necrobiosis lipoidica diaticorum
  • Infection
    • Fungal
    • Bacterial
  • Neoplasm
    • Basal call carcinoma
    • Squamous cell carcinoma

Causes of non-scarring alopecia:
  • Alopecia areata
    • believed to be an autoimmune condition
    • ‘patches’ of hair loss
    • 50% of patients have regrowth within a year
    • associated with
      • thyroid disease
      • vitiligo
    • if complete loss of all hair on scalp = alopecia totalis
    • if complete loss of all body hair = alopecia universalis
  • Adrogenic 
    • 50% of white men by age 50
    • Treat with topical minoxidil or oral finasteride
  • Traction alopecia
  • Trichotillomania
  • Telogen effluvium
    • Anagen-phase hair follicles prematuraurely move to the telogen phase, resulting in increased hair loss 
    • Causes:
      • Pregnancy
      • Chronic systemic illness
      • Surgical trauma
      • Systemic lupus erythematosus
      • Thyroid disease – hyper or hypothyroidism
      • Deficiency
        • Iron
        • Zinc
        • Vitamin D
      • Tinea capitis
      • Drugs
        • Anticoagulants
        • Anticonvulsants
        • ACE-i
        • Lithium
        • Beta blockers
        • OCP

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