Sunscreen and frontal fibrosing alopecia: A review

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 Mar;82(3):723-728. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.09.085. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Abstract

Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a cicatricial alopecia of unknown etiology. The incidence of FFA appears to be increasing with time, leading to suspicion of a possible environmental trigger. Observational studies have reported a positive correlation between facial sunscreen use and FFA. This finding raises the question of whether sunscreen use plays a role in disease development. In this article, we review the available literature on the association of sunscreen with FFA. There is insufficient evidence to establish a direct causal relationship between sunscreen and FFA. Further studies are required to better characterize the role of sunscreen and the environment in the pathogenesis of this unique disease.

Keywords: alopecia; frontal fibrosing alopecia; hair; hair loss; inflammatory hair disorder; lichen planopilaris; primary lymphocytic cicatricial alopecia; scarring; sunscreen; titanium dioxide; ultraviolet filter.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / chemically induced*
  • Alopecia / complications
  • Cicatrix / chemically induced*
  • Cicatrix / complications
  • Forehead
  • Humans
  • Sunscreening Agents / adverse effects*

Substances

  • Sunscreening Agents