alopecia diagnosis

What Is Alopecia and How Is It Diagnosed?

Alopecia is a condition that affects the hair and/or scalp, and it can range from mild to severe. Alopecia can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, medications, endocrine disorders, auto-immune diseases, stress, or radiation. It is important to understand the different types of alopecia—and how they’re diagnosed—so that you can get the right treatment.

Types of Alopecia

The first step in diagnosing alopecia is to determine the type of alopecia. There are three main types of alopecia:

  • Androgenic alopecia: The most common type of alopecia, this is often referred to as male- or female-pattern baldness. It occurs primarily in adults, often those with genetic predisposition, and can be caused by many factors, including hormonally-driven issues and health conditions.
  • Alopecia Areata: Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss in patches on the scalp. It can affect all skin types, but it is most common in adolescents and young adults.
  • Scarring alopecia: This type of alopecia is caused by scarring of the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. This can be caused by skin conditions, trauma, or repeated mechanical damage to the scalp.

Diagnosing Alopecia

To diagnose alopecia, a doctor will typically begin by taking a complete medical history, as well as a full physical examination. The doctor may also order further testing, such as blood tests or scalp biopsies, to rule out any other potential medical conditions. Additionally, the doctor may use a tool called a dermatoscope to look at individual hair follicles and determine the extent and severity of the alopecia.

Once the type and severity of the alopecia has been determined, the doctor can then recommend the best treatment option for the patient. This may include lifestyle changes, medications, laser therapies, or other treatments, depending on the particular type of alopecia.


Alopecia, Diagnosis, Androgenic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, Scarring Alopecia, Medical History, Physical Examination, Dermatoscope, Lifestyle Changes, Medications, Laser Therapies

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