What is Folliculitis Decalvans?

This form of hair loss is caused by inflammation around the hair follicle. The inflammation leads to bogginess, crusts, pustules (blister-like pimples that contain pus), erosions, and ulcers. The symptoms usually start in one location, often at the centre of the head, and gradually spread outward. It leaves in its wake hair loss, which is permanent. This is why it is imperative to get an early diagnosis in order to control the inflammation levels and halt the spread and loss of hair.

What are the symptoms of Folliculitis Decalvans?

The scalp may be itchy and/or bald spots will start to appear. Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Redness and swelling
  • Crusts
  • Pustules
  • Erosions
  • Ulcers and scars

What causes Folliculitis Decalvans?

Hair loss is a symptom of another condition. In the case of Folliculitis Decalvans, inflammation is the culprit of hair loss. Inflammation causes the hair follicles to get damaged, leading loss of hair follicles and a cease in the production of new ones.

It is thought the bacteria staphylococcus aureus is responsible for the infection and inflammation. It is hypothesised that the bacteria populates and elicits an immune response, or as a result of the infection, the bacteria thrives. We do know that staphylococcus aureus is always present in these cases.

How is Folliculitis Decalvans diagnosed?

Dr Khoza will ask you about your family history, she might request a blood sample, and she will examine your scalp, evaluating the symptoms to decide how many of them lead to a diagnosis of Folliculitis Decalvans. A skin biopsy will confirm the diagnosis.

How is Folliculitis Decalvans treated?

While we are not able to cure the condition, we can halt the inflammation and stop any further hair loss from occurring. This will result in fewer pustules and irregularities and no further hair loss. We achieve this with:

  • Antibiotics and other oral medications, like isotretinoin.
  • Topical therapy including topical antibiotics.
  • Intralesional injections when severe.

Healing hair loss

A condition such as Folliculitis Decalvanscan can be frustrating to live with, it affects your physical appearance which impacts your self-esteem. We always recommend you get a diagnosis early so that we can halt the damage before it becomes significant. If you are ready to face the day with confidence, get in touch.