A Guide to Folliculitis Decalvans- Symptoms and Treatment

An Overview

In today's fast world, the growth of pathogens has increased to such an extent that it has adversely affected all aspects of life. People all around the globe are suffering from hair problems and diseases that otherwise seem unimaginable to us sitting in another part of the world. From our unhealthy intake of diet to the ever-growing pollution in the atmosphere,  no wonder there are so many health-related illnesses among people. The problem of hair fall, to some extent, is present in each and every individual, but to the level, it persists in the general population can be managed by following proper preventive measures and a healthy balanced diet. But when these problems take on a more chronic form, that is where the real difficulties begin. There are times when a problem as simple as hair loss takes on a drastic form and not only affects the hair but starts to cause trouble by affecting its nearby areas as well as the human life in general. Folliculitis Decalvans is one such serious condition. 

What is Folliculitis Decalvans?

It is a rare form of Alopecia that along with hair loss leaves the area permanently scarred. It is generally only limited to the scalp but there have been instances where it extended to other body parts such as the armpits, pubic regions or the region of the lower leg. In such cases, there is a permanent loss of hair from certain parts where scar occurs.  Upon the shedding of hair, redness persists in those specific areas. This is a chronic (long term) case of alopecia. The further stages of Folliculitis Decalvans are marked by the loss of hair along with the swelling of the areas. But eventually, the follicles along with the cells get permanently damaged. Hence, hair are lost forever. 

What are the Signs And Symptoms of Folliculitis Decalvans?

In the study of Folliculitis Decalvans so far, there have been no certain causes for the development of this disease but there have been cases where its cause has been found to be hereditary. Research is still underway to establish the exact reason behind this chronic form of alopecia to help in the medication of the disease.

As mentioned earlier, when a person suffers from Folliculitis Decalvans, there is excessive loss of hair that is proceeded by swelling as well as reddening of the area. The follicular cells are permanently damaged. Hence, there is no growth of hair ever again in these regions. The follicle surrounding these areas sometimes may grow multiple hair from a single follicle, such as a toothbrush. This is also known as Tufted Folliculitis. When this happens, a scar might be left behind in some cases.

Apart from these, there are no certain symptoms of this disease. But in some cases, the patched area might get itchy. This disorder of hair loss might be limited to certain areas. But with time, there is a possibility of it spreading to other areas as well that leads to permanent hair loss.

What is the Treatment of Folliculitis Decalvans?

Due to the unknown nature of the cause of this disease, the treatment for the same is proven to be a major challenge for the doctors around the world. However, many trials have been made regarding the cure of Folliculitis Decalvans, but there have been great variations in their results. 

Doctors, across the globe, have varied their treatments from using antimicrobials, antifungals, retinoid, corticosteroids, along with laser depilation but there have been no certain outcomes.

The only viable option that remains for the treatment of this chronic form of alopecia is surgery. Hair transplant surgeries or stem cell surgeries are the only ways that have proven to be somewhat effective in overcoming this disease.

Using Topical Antimicrobials creams or natural remedies like tea-tree oil solution on the affected areas to avoid any sort of infection from spreading on the already diseased skin. This helps to keep the pathological bacteria at a check and further infecting that region. To lower down the inflammation of such areas, corticosteroids are usually prescribed to the patients. These help in reducing the swelling and hence the pain in such areas.

Other medicines, such as Minoxidil is also recommended to the patients.  These are vasodilators that increase the flow of blood in the surrounding areas to promote hair growth.  

Consulting a Trichologist

Trichologist is a person who deals with the problems of the hair and the scalp. In case of any abnormalities related to the hair or growth of hair, one must first consult a Trichologist and then further seek any sort of treatment. 

Here also, in a case as chronic as Folliculitis Decalvans, the patients must visit trichology clinic and seek out the mode of treatment that best suits him/her. Whether the patients wish to go for surgery or simply desire to remain on medication should only be decided after consulting with the Trichologist and go as per their suggestion.

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