As Absolique Trichologist I came across an unusual case recently that I thought worthy of sharing. We had various circular patches of broken hair at scalp level. Many would see this visually as Alopecia Areata. But when the patches were viewed with 60x magnification microscope, clinically it appeared very different to the common signs used to diagnose Alopecia Areata.
All the hair follicles were intact in the patches, but they had twisted, broken hairs at the dermal level, which on the surface looked like hair breakage or recovering Alopecia Areata. As a Trichologist of 20 years, this was not a text book case of hair loss and it was difficult to find a matching image and diagnosis as microscopes are relatively new to Trichology with limited industry microscopic images available. What did make this case a little more difficult was the typical reddens, itching and swelling that usually is associated with Tinea Capitis.
Unusual Hair Loss Problem – Tina Capitis:
- Tinea Capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp
- Is also called Ringworm
- Is a dermatophyte fungus
- Common in children, less frequent in adults
- Dry scaling like dandruff but usually with moth-eaten hair loss
- Black dots where the hairs are broken off at the scalp surface
The diagnosis of tinea capitis was clear for me with the microscope. However, we had a very difficult time convincing the doctor of the same. Various doctors were adamant it was Alopecia Areata simply based on the circular patches. Tinea capitis requires medical attention and assistance of medication. We finally managed to get the correct diagnosis through laboratory tests confirmed by microscopy and culture of skin scrapings which one doctor humored us with. The lab results took at least two weeks to come back with correct diagnosis before any medical intervention could be taken. Tinea capitis is usually treated with oral antifungal medicines.
Hair loss should be taken seriously. If you are not getting any answers from your medical advisor, always seek other opinions. Had this case been left misdiagnosed, this young boy could have lost most of his hair and it could have further affected his health and that of family and classmates.
Correct diagnosis is the key. Contact Absolique Hair Health Clinic for more information on this and other Unusual Hair Loss Problems. Call reception team on 07 3229 3242 or email Absolique Trichologist firstname.lastname@example.org
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