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Alopecia by a Different Name: A Matter of Splitting Hairs

Alopecia by a Different Name: A Matter of Splitting Hairs Abstract In this issue of the Archives, Sperling and Sau explore the murky depths of the histopathology of alopecia.1 In this thoughtful article the authors essentially debunk the myth of hot comb alopecia by a combination of historic and histologic comparisons. They conclude that the use of hot combs for hair straightening, apparently widespread 20 years ago, is much less common today primarily because of the availability of newer chemical straightening agents. After the authors eliminated hot comb use as a causative agent, they were left with a distinctive clinical pathologic pattern of alopecia that is common. This form of alopecia is typically found in young adult to middle-aged black women who present with hair loss primarily localized to the centrofrontal region of the scalp. The extent of the alopecia is variable ranging from minimal hair loss to near complete baldness. Black men and white women are less commonly affected. References 1. Sperling LC, Sau P. The follicular degeneration syndrome in black patients: `hot comb alopecia' revisited and revised . Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:68-74.Crossref 2. Peereboom JDR. Comparative studies of the diameters of hair-shafts in anagen and in telogen phases in male adults without alopecia and in male adults with androgenetic alopecia . In: Orfanos CE, Montagna W, Stuttgen G, eds. Hair Research . New York, NY: Springer-Verlag NY Inc; 1981:294-302. 3. Headington JT. Transverse microscopic anatomy of the human scalp . Arch Dermatol. 1984;120:449-456.Crossref 4. Headington JT, Gupta AK, Goldfarb MT, et al. A morphometric and histologic study of the scalp in psoriasis: paradoxical sebaceous gland atrophy and decreased hair shaft diameters without alopecia . Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:639-642.Crossref 5. Headington JT, Astle N. Familial focal alopecia: a new disorder of hair growth clinically resembling pseudopelade . Arch Dermatol. 1987;123:234-237.Crossref 6. Herzberg AJ, Dinehart SM, Kerns BJ, Pollack SV. Acne keloidalis: transverse microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy . Am J Dermatopathol. 1990;12:109-121.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Dermatology American Medical Association

Alopecia by a Different Name: A Matter of Splitting Hairs

Archives of Dermatology , Volume 128 (1) – Jan 1, 1992

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1992 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-987X
eISSN
1538-3652
DOI
10.1001/archderm.1992.01680110112018
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract In this issue of the Archives, Sperling and Sau explore the murky depths of the histopathology of alopecia.1 In this thoughtful article the authors essentially debunk the myth of hot comb alopecia by a combination of historic and histologic comparisons. They conclude that the use of hot combs for hair straightening, apparently widespread 20 years ago, is much less common today primarily because of the availability of newer chemical straightening agents. After the authors eliminated hot comb use as a causative agent, they were left with a distinctive clinical pathologic pattern of alopecia that is common. This form of alopecia is typically found in young adult to middle-aged black women who present with hair loss primarily localized to the centrofrontal region of the scalp. The extent of the alopecia is variable ranging from minimal hair loss to near complete baldness. Black men and white women are less commonly affected. References 1. Sperling LC, Sau P. The follicular degeneration syndrome in black patients: `hot comb alopecia' revisited and revised . Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:68-74.Crossref 2. Peereboom JDR. Comparative studies of the diameters of hair-shafts in anagen and in telogen phases in male adults without alopecia and in male adults with androgenetic alopecia . In: Orfanos CE, Montagna W, Stuttgen G, eds. Hair Research . New York, NY: Springer-Verlag NY Inc; 1981:294-302. 3. Headington JT. Transverse microscopic anatomy of the human scalp . Arch Dermatol. 1984;120:449-456.Crossref 4. Headington JT, Gupta AK, Goldfarb MT, et al. A morphometric and histologic study of the scalp in psoriasis: paradoxical sebaceous gland atrophy and decreased hair shaft diameters without alopecia . Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:639-642.Crossref 5. Headington JT, Astle N. Familial focal alopecia: a new disorder of hair growth clinically resembling pseudopelade . Arch Dermatol. 1987;123:234-237.Crossref 6. Herzberg AJ, Dinehart SM, Kerns BJ, Pollack SV. Acne keloidalis: transverse microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy . Am J Dermatopathol. 1990;12:109-121.Crossref

Journal

Archives of DermatologyAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jan 1, 1992

References