What is Cicatricial Alopecia?
Cicatricial Alopecia or “Scarring Alopecia” is a general medical term for a group of uncommon types of Alopecia which completely obliterate hair follicles and replace them with scar tissue. Hair follicles that become replaced by scar tissue become irreversibly damaged and irreparable. At Bauman Medical, Dr. Alan Bauman is often asked to evaluate and treat patients with Cicatricial Alopecia.
Scarring Alopecia can be caused by trauma and injuries to the the scalp from burns, surgery or severe inflammation. Inflammation that triggers Cicatricial Alopecia can be slow and subtle over time causing a slow progressive loss of density and volume of hair. In other cases, the inflammation can be symptomatic and severe–painful itching, redness, pigment changes, scaling, draining pustules, etc.–resulting in a rapid loss of hair and scalp coverage. It can affect both genders and people of all ages.
Some of the more common causes of Cicatricial Alopecia due to small scars left behind from surgery such as facelifts, browlifts, cancer removal, MOHS and even neurosurgery occur in predictable fashion after healing is complete and are often easily treated with hair transplantation. (The scar tissue will not regrow hair on its own, but transplanted follicles can survive if careful technique is used and there is proper blood flow to the scarred area.) In some ethnic groups like African-Americans, Central Centrifugal Cicatrical Alopecia or CCCA is thought to be triggered by “hot comb” styling with chemcials and heat. CCCA patient can sometimes be treated medically, surgically or with CNC Cranial Hair & Scalp Prosthetic Italian hair replacement system. For suspected Cicatricial Alopecia patients, it is important to have a complete medical, hair and scalp evaluation by a full-time board-certified Hair Restoration Physician like Dr. Alan Bauman.
Trauma due to burns or other catastrophic injury to the scalp can be more difficult to treat with hair transplants if there is significant disruption to the architecture and vasculature of the skin or if large areas are affected. In these cases which are not completely amenable to transplants might require a combination of non-surgical hair replacement options along with, or in lieu of, transplants.
“Active” Cicatricial Alopecia and Inflammation
Patients with progressive, visually active Cicatricial Alopecia or biopsy-confirmed active inflammation causing hair loss present a difficult clinical picture for treating physicians as there is a lack of consensus regarding proper medical treatment protocols. Medical treatments can be employed to slow or stop the active inflammation as well as stime late, enhance and protect weak or at-risk follicles.
Cicatricial Alopecia and Hair Transplants
In the past, hair transplant surgeons were often generally reluctant to transplant Cicatricial Alopecia patients. However, recent advances in minimally invasive hair transplant surgery, delicate microsurgical techniques for scar repair, healing accelerators and sophisticated post-operative wound care regimens have spurred an increase in successful “test” transplants in many Cicatricial Alopecia patients and subsequent larger transplant sessions to correct the cosmetic deficit of scalp coverage.
Risk of transplants in inflammatory types of Cicatricial Alopecia include the potential for reactivation of the condition and an “attack” plus possible loss of the transplanted hair.
Hair Replacement Systems and Hair/Scalp Prosthetics in Cicatricial Alopecia
For patients with large surface area defects of the scalp, new technological advances in medical-grade hair and scalp prosthetics make hair replacement a natural and viable option for Cicatricial Alopecia patients. For example, 3D-printing technology used in the production of the “CNC” Hair Replacement system from CRLAB allows for the creation of a perfect fitting polymeric “second scalp” into which human hair is implanted. After implantation of tens of thousands of hair fibers matched to the exact specifications (desired length, color, curl, etc.) of the patient, the CNC prosthesis is attached to the patient’s scalp using an FDA-cleared medical adhesive. The dramatic restoration of a full head of high quality, unprocessed human hair is life changing for Cicatricial Alopecia patients, allowing a freedom of lifestyle and activity not achieved with traditional wigs, weaves and hairpieces.
Contact Bauman Medical to learn more about the award-winning CNC Hair Replacement System and listen to patients whose lives have been transformed. The CNC 3D-Printed Hair and Scalp Prosthetic is an advanced medical-grade hair-friendly hair replacement system that uses the highest quality, unprocessed human hair implanted into a breathable polymeric “second skin” or “second scalp” allowing for an unsurpassed level of naturalness, beauty and unrestricted activity.
Watch the hair restoration video below of Scarring Alopecia Patient Ivory, suffering from CCCA and Traction Alopecia
If you or someone you know has hair loss, hair thinning, baldness, or eyebrow / eyelash concerns, click to start either a long-distance virtual consultation OR an in-person, in-office consultation with Dr. Bauman. You can also Ask Dr. Bauman a Question or simply call Bauman Medical Group toll-free 844-GET-HAIR or +1-561-394-0024.