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Int J Trichology. 2014 Oct;6(4):160-3. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.142856.

Trichoscopy in trichotillomania: a useful diagnostic tool.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, S. Nijalingappa Medical College, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Trichotillomania (TTM) is characterized by patchy alopecia of hair bearing areas. This is because of compulsive urge to pull the hair. Scalp is the most common site for pulling hair. Usually, patients may have only small areas of baldness, in severe forms, tonsure pattern of baldness is observed. Diagnosis is by history and clinical examination. However, it is difficult to differentiate from other causes of noncicatricial alopecia. Here, authors observed trichoscopic patterns and evaluated their importance in the diagnosis of TTM.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This study was conducted in S. Nijalingappa Medical College, Bagalkot, from January 2014 to July 2014. Ten patients with clinically suspected TTM were included in the study. Informed consent was taken and ethical clearance was obtained. Dermlite3 dermoscope was used with Sony camera attachment to save the images. Histopathological examination was conducted in all the patients to confirm the diagnosis.

RESULTS:

Ten patients were included in the study. Mean age of the patients was 34 years. Most common symptom was patchy loss of hair in the frontal area (100%). Common trichoscopic feature was decreased hair density and broken hairs. Trichoptilosis (split ends) and irregular coiled hairs were seen in 80% patients. Novel diagnostic signs like black dots, flame hair, v-sign, follicular hemorrhages, were seen in 30% each. Tulip hair and hair powder were observed in 10% of patients. All patients had the noninflammatory alopecia with distorted and collapsed inner root sheath in histopathology.

CONCLUSION:

Trichotillomania is often chronic and difficult to treat. Hence, early diagnosis and treatment is necessary. Authors believe that the trichoscopy plays a vital role in the diagnosis of this condition by demonstrating specific trichoscopic patterns.

KEYWORDS:

Trichomalacia; trichoptilosis; trichoscopy; trichotillomania; tulip hair; v-sign

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