Trichoscopy in alopecias: diagnosis simplified

Int J Trichology. 2013 Oct;5(4):170-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.130385.


Trichoscopy is the term coined for dermoscopic imaging of the scalp and hair. This novel diagnostic technique, both simple and non-invasive, can be used as a handy bed side tool for diagnosing common hair and scalp disorders. Trichoscopic observations can be broadly grouped as hair signs, vascular patterns, pigment patterns and interfollicular patterns. In this article, we have briefly described the trichoscopic findings in the common categories of cicatricial and non-cicatricial alopecias such as androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, tinea capitis, trichotillomania, lichen planopilaris, discoid lupus erythematosus and hair shaft disorders. Besides diagnosing alopecia, it has the potential for obviating unnecessary biopsies and when a biopsy is still needed it is helpful in choosing an ideal biopsy site. Moreover, trichoscopy is a valuable tool for evaluating the treatment response photographically at each follow-up. The last statement here is deleted as asked.

Keywords: Alopecia areata; androgenetic alopecia; dermoscopy; diagnosis; discoid lupus erythematosus; lichen planopilaris; telogen effluvium; tinea capitis; trichoscopy; trichotillomania.

Publication types

  • Review