What is Scarring Alopecia?

Nearly 3% of hair loss patients are diagnosed with scarring alopecia. But what is it? Scarring alopecia is also known as cicatricial alopecia. Although each diagnosis in specific categories are rare, some examples of the hair loss disorders are follicular degeneration syndrome, dissecting cellulitis, lichen planopilaris and many more.  However, no matter what type of scarring alopecia is diagnosed, the most common factor of the disorder is a potentially permanent and irreversible destruction of the hair follicles. It also makes replacement harder with the advanced scar tissue.

Scarring alopecia usually occurs in small patches of hair loss that can gradually become larger. Some people do not show any symptoms of scarring alopecia, while others experiencing almost instantaneous hair loss, burning, itching, and pain. In addition, some people may have redness, blisters, or even pus coming from the affected area.  Also scarring alopecia is different from standard male-patterned baldness or alopecia areata. With standard alopecia the edges of the hair is pretty well defined. However, with scarring alopecia the edges of the bald path tend to look more ragged or choppy.


Scarring Alopecia cannot be diagnosed just by looking at the scalp or the pattern in which the hair loss occurs. If scarring alopecia is suspected, then a physician or hair loss specialist should do one or more skin biopsies. The biopsy is fairly small and only consists of a 2-4 mm in diameter that has to be scrapped for testing. The doctors will look for any redness, swelling or inflammation of the hair follicles and discuss a treatment plan from there.


There’s only a few ways to treat scarring alopecia. Surgical hair restoration or a scalp reduction may be performed. Surgical hair restoration is also known as hair transplantation or follicular micro- grafting. This means that the follicles from the back of the head, where the hair is genetically designed not to fall out, are transplanted into bare areas of the scalp. With scalp reduction, the scalp is moved to cover up the bald area. However, scarring alopecia can still reoccur even after successful treatments.

Keep in mind, if you’re experiencing hair loss, never self-diagnose yourself. The best thing you can do is come in and see a hair expert.

If you’re interested in discussing more of this with a hair expert, call New England Associates®. At New England Associates®, how you feel about your hair loss and making the right choice to solve it matters. We encourage you to take the time and review your options. Then come in for a no cost, no obligation private hair loss consultation.

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Call New England Associates® today. Make New England Associates® Your First Step To A Better Looking Future!


Since 1982 New England Associates® has known hair loss is as individual as you are. New England Associates® offers all of the procedures that work to repair, replace, restore, and grow hair. We are members of the American Hair Loss Council and the Better Business Bureau. Locations include Wakefield, MA and Manchester, NH. Our hair restoration options include hair and scalp treatments, non-medical hair replacement, laser hair therapy treatments, hair transplants and shampoos and vitamins for fine and thinning hair.


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