Understanding Hair Loss in Skin of Color Patients

Hair Loss Callendar

These are clinical pearls from SOCSS 2018 on hair loss in skin of color patients by Valerie Callender, MD

At the Skin of Color Seminar Series 2018 (now Skin of Color Update), Dr. Valerie Callender focused on how structural differences in afrocentric hair and cultural haircare practices contribute to the high prevalence of alopecia in African American women in particular.

*Clinical pearls* from this session are bolded, underlined, and marked with asterisks.

Dr. Callender started her lecture with an introduction to alopecia – one of the most common dermatologic concerns of African American patients. Given that healthy hair is considered to be a sign of beauty, youth, and attractiveness, alopecia has a huge negative impact on the quality-of-life of affected individuals. The psychological comorbidity of hair loss makes it essential that physicians understand the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of common causes of scarring and non-scarring alopecia. *It is important to note that patients can present with BOTH scarring and non-scarring alopecia, and both must be considered during the work-up*.

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