Ak Clinics

What is Frontal Fibrosing alopecia?

In this series, we will take you through real life cases (using assumed names), to give you an in depth understanding of the various conditions that can affect the scalp.
This particular case study is about Swati, 55yr old female who was diagnosed with frontal fibrosing alopecia. Given here are the features, causes, diagnosis and treatment that was administered to her.

  • Causes: We informed Swati that the cause is usually unknown; however, it is thought to be a variant of the disease called lichen planus where the body’s immune system is at fault. The immune response to certain components of the hair follicles becomes fault ridden, and that might be the cause for the condition. Since the condition appears post menopause, we feel that there might be certain hormones in play and relayed the same to Swati as well.
  • Diagnosis: Our first step was to inform Swati that this condition tends to progress slowly, but does stabilise after a while. We then moved onto confirming our diagnosis, for which we conducted a scalp biopsy. We harvested the hair follicles that had been affected recently and these were encircled by inflammatory cells in lichenoid pattern.
  • Treatment:We put Swati on a course of steroid pills and anti-inflammatory antibiotics and were able to contain the condition. After the disease has become stable for over a year, we were able to conduct a transplant procedure on her, allowing her to style her hair in a normal manner.