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Approach to the Patient with Hair Growth Disorders at a Glance
  • Take patient with hair growth disorders serious and provide emotional support.
  • Classify hair disorder based on patient's history and clinical pattern (see eTable 88-0.2).
  • Exclude or confirm common hair growth disorders based on clinical assessment and diagnostic tools (see Table 88-1).
  • Find the right treatment for confirmed diagnosis.
  • Dispel misconceptions on treatment options and results, and educate patient.

The importance of human hair in view of social communication and sexual attraction is enormous. Thus, diseases that lead to hair loss (alopecia), structural hair shaft defects or excessive hair growth on the body are often accompanied by diminished sense of personal well-being and self-esteem, leading to depressive moods and withdrawal from social interims.

In this chapter, we discuss the biologic basis and clinical presentation of hair growth disorders, give definitions (eTable 88-0.1), explain key management principles, and provide practical advice for diagnosis, therapy and patient management.

eTable 88-0.1 Definitions

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