Alopecia

Causes

Appropriate Tests

 

May be the result of a number of systemic or dermatological conditions; may be transient, permanent, or associated with scarring. Most cases of hair loss do not require pathology tests.

Skin biopsy (from the active margin) may be helpful for lesions associated with inflammation or scarring.

Frontal baldness

 

Normal male variant

 

Virilisation

See Amenorrhoea with androgen excess.

Hereditary

 

Diffuse alopecia

 

Idiopathic

 

Drugs, especially

  • Cytotoxics
  • Lithium
  • Warfarin

 

Following severe illness

 

Hypothyroidism

Thyroid stimulating hormone

Hyperthyroidism

Thyroid stimulating hormone

SLE

Antinuclear Ab

Irradiation

 

Post-partum

 

Alopecia totalis

 

Ectodermal dysplasia

 

Patchy alopecia

 

Following severe illness

 

Alopecia areata

 

Discoid lupus

 

Factitious

 

Idiopathic

 

Ringworm

Fungal microscopy and culture (MCS fungal) - skin scrapings and plucked hair required for examination in the laboratory.