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A Guide to Cicatricial Alopecia for Women

For many women, hair loss is something that comes as quite a surprise at some point in their life. If you’ve grown up with thick or long hair, it can be shocking to notice hair loss and patches on your scalp suddenly. One morning, you wake up and look in the mirror, only to realize your hair has slowly been falling out over the past weeks or months. Cicatricial alopecia, which is often referred to as scarring hair loss, is a rare condition that can be incredibly painful for women to experience. For anyone who has recently noticed hair loss, we’re going to share with you everything you need to know about this condition and potential treatment options.

What is Cicatricial Alopecia?

Cicatricial alopecia is a rarer form of hair loss in women that is accompanied by scarring. Many of the more common forms of hair loss aren’t accompanied by this side effect, which is how you can determine what condition you may be experiencing. However, you won’t see the scarring on your scalp, and instead, it destroys the hair follicle which is located below your skin’s surface. Sometimes this comes about suddenly, but oftentimes this type of hair loss in women isn’t noticed for many months. When the hair follicle is destroyed, it gets replaced by scar tissue, resulting in permanent hair loss.

What are the Symptoms of Cicatricial Alopecia?

The symptoms will vary from person to person, and men and women experience this condition. Cicatricial alopecia results in permanent hair loss, but you may notice other symptoms during its development. If you are experiencing itching, pain, or burning on your scalp, this may be a sign of inflammation, which results in the hair follicle being destroyed. While some individuals may barely notice any change to their scalp, others have a change in pigmentation, redness, scaling, and pustules. This condition can occur at any time in your life and is experienced by women and men around the world. It’s believed cicatricial alopecia only accounts for about 3% of hair loss disorders, so it’s generally considered to be a very rare condition. Cicatricial alopecia is often experienced in women of African descent, but more research into this area needs to be undertaken to understand the reasons for this.

Treatment Options for Cicatricial Alopecia

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with cicatricial alopecia or are awaiting further testing, you may be wondering how this rare condition can be treated. Medical professionals will be able to advise you about the severity of your hair loss and decide on a suitable treatment from there. However, there are many natural solutions that you can also consider if you’ve recently been diagnosed with this condition.

Azelaic acid can be a good solution for anyone who is experiencing patchy hair loss and is shown to assist with hair growth. When olive oil is used before shampoo, it can help to reduce the appearance of scales on your scalp and stabilize your hair loss. Rosemary oil and tea tree oil are other popular natural solutions that have shown good results in trials, with tea tree oil working to target inflammation that’s associated with cicatricial alopecia.

What are the Causes of Cicatricial Alopecia?

Cicatricial alopecia’s causes aren’t fully understood at this stage, but it appears that inflammation is the number one cause of this condition. A deposit of collagen over time and a reduction in sebaceous glands can also be factors for this condition, however, there’s often very little you can do to reduce the chance of this occurring. Genetics and hormone imbalance can also increase your chance of hair loss.

Consider reducing your use of hot combs and relaxants, as this has been shown to increase your chances of scarring alopecia. If you are diagnosed with this condition, make sure you avoid any products with harsh chemicals and protect your scalp as much as possible from the sun. Many women decide to cover their patches with hairpieces or scarfs, but it’s entirely up to you. Ensure you follow any treatment you are prescribed to reduce the impact this condition may have on your appearance in the future.

Cicatricial alopecia is a condition that many people don’t consider when they are first diagnosed with hair loss in women. While there is little you can do to prevent this condition from occurring, by treating your scalp with care and following the suggested natural solutions listed above, you can reduce the chances of the condition progressing in the future.

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