In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan.


Alopecia is the absence or loss of hair in an area where it is expected to be present. This condition can be localized or diffuse, temporary or permanent, and affect both sexes and all age groups. Alopecia is a sign or symptom arising from heterogeneous etiologies and is broadly classified as nonscarring, the most common, and scarring (cicatricial). Patients may present with significant distress, diminishing their quality of life. A detailed history, physical examination, and focused evaluation are necessary to determine the underlying cause, which will guide the decision-making process for the most appropriate management for the best outcomes. Of note, the nomenclature in the literature typically uses nonscarring rather than non-cicatricial and varies between scarring and cicatricial. We will use nonscarring and scarring for simplicity, except when cicatricial is part of the named disorder. This activity focuses on the most common types of nonscarring and scarring alopecias.

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