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Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr 15;19(4):11.

Transversely sectioned biopsies in the diagnosis of end-stage traction alopecia.

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Division of Dermatology, University of Toronto; Hair Club Medical Group; Cleveland Clinic, Canada.


The pathogenesis of scarring alopecia in African American women remains poorly understood. Furthermore, the overlapping clinical and histological features present diagnostic challenges. The diagnosis of end stage traction alopecia secondary to traumatic hair styling practices can sometimes present particular challenges. We present a young African American woman with a scarring alopecia. As we describe, a scalp biopsy processed by transverse sections enabled rapid diagnosis and presented advantages over a biopsy processed with vertical sections.

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