Problems in pattern alopecia


K Richards, MS, UTHSC Houston, Student Affairs and Admissions, 6431 Fannin, Suite G400, Houston, TX 77030, USA. E-mail:


Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) was originally described as synonymous with androgenetic alopecia. However, the role of androgens in FPHL has not been proven, and the etiology is not yet defined. Several patterns of hair loss in women have been described, in addition to descriptions of scarring alopecias mimicking FPHL. In this paper, we discuss FPHL as an entity other than androgenetic alopecia and suggest that de-emphasizing the physicians reliance on pattern in the diagnosis of hair loss in women, and instead utilizing other tools including dermoscopy and histopathology, would benefit clinician’s efforts in treating alopecias.