Article in POLISH: Advances in diagnosing hair loss

Postępy w diagnostyce łysienia

Olszewska M, Rudnicka L, Rakowska A, Kurzeja M.; Przegl Dermatol 2009, 96, 247–253


Recent years have brought significant progress in hair diagnostictechniques.Classic methods of hair evaluation, other than clinical examination, includeevaluation of daily hair loss, hair weighing, pull test, wash test andthe trichogram. Histopathological examination of the scalp skin remains animportant method in differential diagnosis of hair loss, in particular indifferentiating female androgenic alopecia from chronic telogen effluviumand in diagnosing alopecia areata or cicatricial alopecia. Newly developed techniques enlarge the spectrum of possibilities indiagnosing hair loss. These include the phototrichogram, trichoscan,trichoscopy and in vivo reflectance confocal microscopy. The basis forthe phototrichogram is the observation that growing hairs are in the anagenphase and non-growing hairs are in the telogen phase. Subsequentmacrophotographs of a shaven scalp area allow the percentage of telogenhairs to be assessed. A trichoscan is a computerized form of this technique.Another, recently developed method, trichoscopy (hair and scalpdermoscopy), allows evaluation of the whole scalp without the need toremove hair. Trichoscopy allows one to analyze hair thickness and structure,and the perifollicular area. In a recently published study, the usefulnessof reflectance confocal laser scanning microscopy in diagnosing hair shaftabnormalities was documented.