Investigation for Hair Loss


Investigations for Hair Loss

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Investigations for Hair Loss2020-11-20T10:12:31+00:00

Investigation for Hair Loss


Trichoscopy (hair and scalp dermoscopy) is a non-invasive technique performed with a handheld dermatoscopy is an indispensable tool in making the correct diagnosis. It is a relatively new technique. Trichoscopy allows visualisation of the scalp at 20-160 magnification. Characteristic features of the hair and scalp have now been established for the differing causes of hair loss. We use state of the art TrichoLAB software to image trichoscopy findings, which helps objective assessment at follow up.

Nutritional factors can affect hair growth. Iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D can be measured in the blood and replaced to levels known to be optimal for hair growth.

Alopecia areata has an increased associated with thyroid disorders, and so thyroid function and thyroid autoantibodies can be checked.

Hormone profiles and ovarian ultrasound might be required in women suffering with female patterned hair loss.

The ‘hair pull’ test can determine the proportion of hairs in the resting and growth phase of the hair cycle. Excessive hair shedding can be confirmed with a positive ‘hair pull’ test.

Fungal and bacterial causes of hair loss can be confirmed by taking samples from the scalp and hair for culture.

Sometimes scalp biopsies might be required to confirm the exact cause of hair loss. Analysis of the scalp tissue is a highly specialised area if histopathology, and all hair biopsies are sent for analysis by a Consultant Histopathologist with particular experience in analysing tissue samples from the scalp.