Hair loss disorders
Hair loss (alopecia) is a common problem that can be due to a number of different diseases, or result as side effects of medical therapy. It has been shown that hair loss has a significant impact on psychological well-being and quality of life. Some types of hair loss are painful and itchy, and may cause permanent scarring of the scalp skin. Treatment of hair loss disorders is often challenging due to a number of factors, including limited understanding of the natural history of the condition, poor disease definitions, lack of validated severity scales and generally poor quality of evidence for treatment.
We are currently looking at different hair loss disorders to better understand their cause and impact. Building on previous work from the department we are looking in detail at the hair immune system, and in particular how skin inflammation affects the hair follicle in scarring alopecias.
We are also exploring the emotional impact of hair loss using questionnaires and novel brain imaging in patients with alopecia areata and controls.