November 26, 2017 Scalp Biopsy and Diagnosis of Common Hair Loss Problems

Scalp Biopsy and Diagnosis of Common Hair Loss Problems

What is Scalp Biopsy?

A scalp biopsy is a short process, performed under local anesthesia, that allows a few hairs (and the skin surrounding those hairs) to be removed for future examination under the microscope. Scalp Biopsy is introduced to examine patients suffering from hair loss (alopecia)  and is often a cause of great concern for cosmetic and psychological reasons and this has several causes; as it may be an important sign of systemic disease.

Scalp biopsy basically says you have a non-scarring type of hair loss which is very non-specific.

Scalp biopsies can be used to make or confirm a diagnosis of alopecia. Scalp biopsy is considered compulsory in all cases of scarring alopecia. The analysis of the histopathological (microscopic examination)  findings of primary scarring alopecias without known clinical history may be difficult and this is especially true if the biopsy specimen is inadequate.

In non-scarring type, it is not difficult to diagnose these disorders. However, scalp biopsy can be needed in few cases as mentioned below:

  • Lack of recognized stimulation.

  • Severe hair loss (as in some cases of alopecia areata which does not present in a well defined bald area, but as severe hair loss.

  • Acute hair loss.

  • Telogen effluvium does not occur in an acute way after a known triggering factor.

  • Some cases of female androgenetic alopecia pattern; the clinical presentation may be similar to other types of non-scarring alopecias.

    Androgenic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss. Clinically, it is a patterned alopecia, in that it is characterized by bitemporal recession and vertex balding in men, and in women (female pattern hair loss) by diffuse hair thinning of the crown with an intact frontal hairline. The use of transverse sections is the most valuable method to reach a diagnosis, as all the hair follicles can be visualized.

What to Expect During the Procedure –

  • The Area May Be Shaved
  • The Area Will Be Cleaned
  • A Local Anesthetic Will Be Used
  • You May Receive Sutures



For many hair loss sufferers, a scalp biopsy is one process performed to give them a better idea of the cause of their hair loss. Of course, it’s not mandatory, but it can help.


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