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Traction alopecia in Adult
See also in: Hair and Scalp
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Traction alopecia in Adult

See also in: Hair and Scalp
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Contributors: Mary Gail Mercurio MD, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Traction alopecia refers to scarring hair loss as a result of excessive and chronic tension on the hair follicles and inflammation – usually from styling. It is usually seen on the frontal and temporal margins of the scalp. The condition is more frequent in girls and women of African descent and less so in boys and men. Traction alopecia is due to frequent use of tight braiding, elastic bands, tight rollers, decorative cornrows, and excessive brushing or heat at the roots. Chemically relaxed hair with these styles is more susceptible to traction alopecia.

Traction alopecia is seen in Eskimos in Western Greenland, young Danish girls with ponytails, ballet dancers, and any ethnic group that styles hair with tension to the frontal region of the scalp. Traction alopecia also occurs with work-related gear such as helmets, hair caps, and headbands.

Codes

ICD10CM:
L66.8 – Other cicatricial alopecia

SNOMEDCT:
67488005 – Traction alopecia

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Alopecia areata – Usually causes round areas of nonscarring hair loss. However, the ophiasis type of alopecia areata is hard to differentiate clinically.
  • Trichotillomania – The patient is pulling hair out.
  • Telogen effluvium – Nonscarring hair loss as a result of medication or severe illness.

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Updated: 10/24/2018
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Traction alopecia in Adult
See also in: Hair and Scalp
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Traction alopecia : Braids hair, Frontal scalp, Alopecia, Short broken hairs
Clinical image of Traction alopecia
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