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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 May;68(5):749-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2012.09.043. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Frontal fibrosing alopecia: a retrospective review of 19 patients seen at Duke University.

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  • 1Hair Disorders Research and Treatment Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA. barryladizinski@gmail.com



Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a type of scarring hair loss primarily observed in postmenopausal women and characterized by fronto-tempero-parietal hairline recession, perifollicular erythema, and loss of eyebrows. The incidence is unknown, but the number of women presenting with this condition has significantly increased in recent years. No effective therapy has been established.


The purpose of this study is to present pertinent demographic and clinical findings of patients with FFA seen at an academic hair loss clinic and their responses to various therapeutic interventions.


Patients seen at the Duke University Hair Disorders Research and Treatment Center, Durham, NC, between 2004 and 2011 who met FFA inclusion criteria and signed an informed consent form for participation in the Duke University Hair Disorders Research and Treatment Center database were included in this review.


Nineteen female patients with FFA met our inclusion criteria, the majority of whom were white and postmenopausal. A number of treatments, including topical and intralesional steroids, antibiotics, and immunomodulators, were used with disappointing results in most patients. However, the majority of patients on dutasteride experienced disease stabilization.


This was a retrospective review and outside clinic records were occasionally incomplete.


FFA is an increasingly common form of scarring hair loss, but the origin remains unknown. Without clear understanding of the pathogenesis and evolution of this condition, it is not surprising that treatments to date have been minimally or not effective. At our institution, dutasteride was most effective in halting disease progression, although no therapy was associated with significant hair regrowth.

Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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