Cicatricial alopecia

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Cicatricial alopecia is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Brocq pseudopelade
  • pseudopelade
  • alopecia cicatrisata
  • scarring hair loss

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Cicatricial alopecia usually includes a range of rare disorders related to the destruction of the hair follicle and gets replaced by scar tissue which may lead to permanent hair loss. Typically the hair loss is gradual, without symptoms, and is unnoticed for long periods. In some the hair loss is also associated with rapidly progressive symptoms such as itching, burning and pain. The inflammation that destroys the follicle is located below the surface of the skin and there is usually no "scar" seen on the scalp. Affected areas of the scalp may show little signs of inflammation.

There are two known types of cicatricial alopecias classified as primary Cicatricial alopecias or secondary Cicatricial alopecias. For primary cicatricial alopecias in the hair follicle is the target of the destructive inflammatory process. In secondary cicatricial alopecias, destruction of the hair follicle is an "accidental" non-follicle-directed process or external injury, such as severe infections, burns, radiation, or tumors.

Primary cicatricial alopecias are further classified by the type of inflammatory cells that destroy the hair follicle during the active stage of the disease. The inflammation may predominantly involve lymphocytes or neutrophils. Cicatricial alopecias that predominantly involve lymphocytic inflammation include lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia, chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus, central centrifugal alopecia, pseudopelade (Brocq), alopecia mucinosa, and keratosis follicularis spinulosa decalvans.

Cicatricial alopecias that are due to predominantly neutrophilic inflammation include folliculitis decalvans and dissecting cellulitis.

Sometimes the inflammation shifts from a predominantly neutrophilic process to a lymphocytic process. Cicatricial alopecias with a mixed inflammatory infiltrate include folliculitis keloidalis and erosive pustular dermatosis.


American Academy of Dermatology
930 East Woodfield Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Tel: (847)330-0230
Fax: (847)240-1859
Tel: (888)462-3376
Email: None.

Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation
PO Box 64158
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: (310)475-2419
Fax: (310)475-2419

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

North American Hair Research Society (NAHRS)
Dept. of Dermatology Medical Center Blvd.
Walke University School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
Tel: (336)776-2768
Fax: (336)776-7732

For a Complete Report

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This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see

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