Hair Disease and Hair Loss Diagnosis
Hair diseases are complex disorders and may develop from many different factors. Hair loss is a sad situation for the patients and can affect both men and women of any age.The most common causes of hair diseases or permanent hair loss are; Male type hair loss (AGA), Female type hair loss (FAGA), Tellogen effluvium, Alopecia Areata, hair rashes and structural hair disorders, hair loss due to skin diseases (Lichen Pilanopilaris, Discoid Lupus, Folliculitis Decalvans like Primary Cicatricial Alopecia), fungal diseases, and such kinds of diseases. In order to determine the best treatment method for hair loss, proper hair loss diagnosis is important.
What are the main methods of hair loss diagnosis and evaluation of hair diseases?
Just like any other disease, the most important method of diagnosis of hair diseases is evaluation of the patient’s medical history, physical examination and blood tests. In addition, the following methods can make diagnosis of hair loss more accurate:
Noninvasive methods of hair diseases and hair loss diagnosis
Used in the diagnosis and follow-up of hair diseases through digital microscopy. This is a technological system that can measure hair loss using a special software and a camera that can achieve up to 70 times magnification and 1000 HD image quality. 1cm2 area with hair loss is shaved and dyed, then macro and micro photographs are taken immediately and after 48-72 hours. Using image processing algorithms the system estimates hair count, hair density, single and cummulative hair thickness, velus and terminal hair percentages, number of follicullar units and anagen/telogen ratios. In complex situations that require further investigation, the results are shared with Tricholab Germany for further examination.
2. Daily Hair Loss Estimation:
Generally, the average hair loss for a specific number of days is taken. Hairloss is estimated during washing days with specific shampoo.
3. Standard Washing Test:
After a specific amount of time, hair is washed, the fallen hair is collected in gauze then counted according to length. This method is especially used on hair loss in women for more detailed diagnosis.
4. Pull test
5. Standard photography follow-up
6. Measurement of the weight of hair
8. Hair pluck test:
60-80 hair strands are pulled and examined under microscope. The points at which hair comes out are examined microscopically.
9. Measurement using Hair Check:
The thickness of hair at the stable and affected area is measured and compared to check the level of hair loss. During the treatment period, the thickness of the affected area is measured every 3 months to establish the effectiveness of the treatment.
10. Dermatoscopic examination:
This is examination of the scalp and hair roots using a dermatoscope.
11. Examination of hair structure under a microscope:
Used to diagnose hair structure disorders, diseases affecting the hair shaft and congenital hair diseases. In addition, it is used in the diagnosis of fungal diseases using 10% KOH nativ.
Used to test hair density, hair thickness and hair growth.
Invasive methods of hair diseases and hair loss diagnosis
1. Skin biopsy:
4-5mm wide skin biopsy is taken from the affected area and examined pathologically.