Everything To Know About Scarring Alopecia

scarring alopecia pic by Intech Open

pic by intechopen.com


You might want to learn more about scarring alopecia, also called cicatricial alopecia.

This type of alopecia can cause permanent hair loss, leading to baldness.

So it’s important to understand what causes them and how they’re diagnosed.

Basically, everything to know about scarring alopecia.

If you’re struggling with hair loss due to cicatricial alopecia., you’re not alone.

Read on to learn more about this condition and learn how to care for your hair.

What is scarring alopecia or cicatricial alopecia?

Scarring alopecia, or cicatricial alopecia, is a hair loss type.

Also, this results in permanent loss of hair and even baldness.

Whereby the destroyed hair follicles are replaced with scar tissue.

There are different types of scarring alopecia or cicatricial alopecia, each with their own unique causes.

But, all forms of cicatricial alopecia share one common trait, i.e. the destruction of hair follicles.

Types of scarring alopecia

The three types of scarring alopecia are primary, secondary, and developmental/hereditary alopecia.

Primary scarring alopecia:

Typical scarring alopecia is the result of an autoimmune disorder.

In this condition, the body’s immune system targets the hair follicles.

Also, this primary type is broken down further into the following:

  • lymphocytic,
  • neutrophilic,
  • or mixed alopecia

Secondary scarring alopecia:

This type of cicatricial alopecia causes another underlying condition that damages hair follicles.

Such underlying conditions are fungal infection, lupus, or lichen planus.

Developmental/hereditary scarring alopecia:

This type of cicatricial alopecia is present at birth or develops during childhood.

Also, the natural ageing process, known as male and female pattern baldness.

Who gets scarring alopecia or cicatricial alopecia?

Primary cicatricial alopecia is more common in women than men.

While secondary and developmental/hereditary scarring alopecia can affect both sexes equally.

Symptoms of scarring alopecia

The most common symptom of scarring alopecia is hair loss.

Other symptoms may vary.

Yet, some common symptoms can include the following:

  1. itching
  2. scalp burning
  3. scalp pain
  4. rash
  5. patches of blisters

Causes of scarring alopecia

There are different types of scarring alopecia, each with its own causes.


One of the most common causes of scarring alopecia is infection.

  • Fungal infections, such as ringworm, can damage hair follicle and get scarred.
  • Bacterial infections, such as syphilis and tuberculosis, can also lead to scarring alopecia.


Inflammatory disorders, such as lupus and lichen planus, can cause scarring alopecia.

Further, these disorders attack the hair follicle, causing inflammation and scarring.

Autoimmune disorders:

Such as alopecia areata and discoid lupus erythematosus, causes scarring alopecia

Because the immune system attacks hair follicles, leading to inflammation and scarring or bald patches.


Benign and malignant tumours can also cause scarring alopecia.

Besides, these tumours can compress and damage the hair follicles, resulting in scarring.

Diagnosing scarring alopecia?

Firstly, to diagnose scarring alopecia is to understand the condition and how it develops.

As we know, scarring alopecia is a type of hair loss that results in permanent baldness.

Whereby, hair follicles are destroyed and replaced with scar tissue.

But, there are many forms of scarring alopecia, and each one has different causes.

How is scarring alopecia diagnosed?

Scalp examination uses to establish the diagnosis of scarring alopecia.

The following are some symptoms that might be present:

  • a worsening of hair loss or patchy hair loss
  • burning or itching near the site of baldness,
  • mucus discharge from scalp,
  • previous skin issues, and so on.

Hair pull testing is also done, which can help rule out other causes of hair loss, such as non-scarring alopecia areata.

Instead, performing a skin biopsy to rule out other conditions.

Other tests

Other tests include a medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests.

  • Medical history, which include any prior hair loss or skin conditions.
  • Physical examination should focus on the scalp and hair.
  • Laboratory tests are blood count and biochemistry panel.
  • Including also ferritin level, thyroid function and vitamin D level tests.
  • A scalp biopsy performed early can help treat scarring alopecia.

What are the treatments for scarring alopecia?

There is no cure for scarring alopecia.

But early diagnosis and treatment sometimes help stop the progression of the condition.

Although the main goal of treatment is to prevent further hair loss.

Such treatment options include: medications, corticosteroid injections, laser therapy, and hair transplant.

Oral medications

There are different types of oral medications used to treat scarring alopecia.

It can also help reduce inflammation and stop the progression of the condition.

Other types of useful medications include antifungals, oral antibiotics, immunosuppressants, and biologics.

Corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroid injections are another option for treating scarring alopecia.

They can help reduce inflammation and stop the progression of the condition.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy is sometimes used to treat scarring alopecia.

It can help reduce inflammation and promote hair regrowth.

Hair transplantation

In some cases, a hair transplantation might be an alternative treatment option.

For instance, a scalp reduction can help remove the affected area of skin.

A hair transplant can also transplant healthy hair follicles to the bald areas to help in hair restoration.

What are the non-surgical treatments for scarring alopecia?

There is no sure way to prevent scarring alopecia.

But, an early diagnosis and treatment of the can help reduce the risk of permanent hair loss.

Preventing scarring alopecia

It is also important to avoid any triggers that might worsen the condition.

For instance, if you have an autoimmune disorder, it is important to manage it correctly.

In general, managing any underlying conditions can help reduce the risk of scarring alopecia.

Avoid trauma

It is also important to avoid any trauma to the scalp.

For example, tight hairstyles, chemical relaxers, hot combs, and flat irons.

As long as you have any skin conditions on the scalp, if left untreated, can lead to cicatricial alopecia

Are there home remedies for scarring alopecia?

There is insufficient scientific evidence that plant oils can reactivate hair growth.

Cicatricial central centrifugal alopecia, or alopecia, is the most common cause of hair loss.

However, further research is necessary.



How can I take care of my hair if I have scarring alopecia?

If you have scarring alopecia, it is important to avoid any trauma to the scalp.

This includes tight hairstyles, chemical relaxers, hot combs, and flat irons.

Still, if any scalp skin conditions are left untreated, they can develop into scarring alopecia.

Thus, managing any underlying conditions can help reduce the risk.

More hair care suggestions

  1. Do not apply chemical-based hair treatments or other styling products. They may irritate the scalp and cause discomfort.
  2. Use a hat or scarf to protect your hair and scalp, while also using daily broad-spectrum sunscreen.
  3. For the sake of decreasing the inflammatory lumps, use antiseptic shampoos as directed by your doctor.
  4. To cover up the bald spots, use hair wigs or other hair pieces.


In closing, scarring alopecia is a condition that can lead to permanent loss of hair and baldness.

There are different types of treatments available to treat scarring alopecia.

These include oral medications, corticosteroid injections, laser therapy, and hair transplantation.

With proper treatment, you can start on your journey to getting your hair back.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your family and friends.


  • Does bacterial folliculitis leave scars?

Bacterial folliculitis usually doesn’t leave scars.

Yet, if the infection is deep, it can cause permanent loss of hair growth.

  • Can hair grow back after scarring alopecia?

It depends on the type of scarring alopecia.

Some forms, such as folliculitis decalvans, are permanent.

But, other forms, such as central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, are reversible.

  • What is scalp reduction surgery?

Scalp reduction surgery is a type of surgery that uses to treat scarring alopecia.

The goal of this surgical treatment is to remove the affected area of scalp skin.

  • Can hormones cause scalp tenderness?

Yes, hormones can cause scalp tenderness.

And, an increase in androgens (male hormones) can worsen conditions like scarring alopecia.


Just a heads up: My articles may include affiliate links!

If you buy something, you will not pay any extra money, but I will get a small commission.

Many thanks for your support!


We don’t recommend using any phrases to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

They are for educational purposes only.

The FDA has not conducted any studies on them.

If you have a medical concern, see your doctor immediately.

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Visit Us
Follow Me