Frontal fibrosing alopecia: clinical and prognostic classification

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2017 Oct;31(10):1739-1745. doi: 10.1111/jdv.14287. Epub 2017 May 15.


Background: Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a chronic scarring alopecia with an unpredictable evolution. There are no current classifications of this disease that may predict its prognosis.

Objective: To analyse the differences in clinical presentation and evolution of FFA patients and to create a clinical and prognostic classification.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analytical study of FFA patients. Clinical characteristics of frontal hairline recession were used as the sorting variable between patterns of presentation. A cohort of 106 patients homogenously treated with oral dutasteride and topical corticosteroid was followed 12 months.

Results: In all, 242 female patients with a mean age of 61.4 years were included. Patients were classified into three clinical patterns [118 (48.8%) patients as pattern I (linear), 109 patients (45%) as pattern II (diffuse) and 15 patients (6.2%) as pattern III (double line)]. Stabilization was achieved in 37.3% of the 106 patients treated with oral dutasteride and topical corticosteroid. Pattern III patients had less hairline recession and eyebrow involvement at the diagnosis and after treatment.

Limitations: Retrospective design.

Conclusions: Frontal fibrosing alopecia patients can be classified into three different clinical patterns with different prognosis. Pattern III patients have the best prognosis, while pattern II patients have the worst prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alopecia / classification*
  • Alopecia / drug therapy
  • Alopecia / pathology
  • Dutasteride / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Dutasteride