Alopecia totalis

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Alopecia totalis
A woman with alopecia totalis
SymptomsTotal loss of hair on head and face

Alopecia totalis is the loss of all hair on the head and face.[1]

Its causes are unclear, but believed to be autoimmune. Research suggests there may be a genetic component linked to developing alopecia totalis; the presence of DRB1*0401 and DQB1*0301, both of which are Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA), were found to be associated with long-standing alopecia totalis.[2]


Methotrexate and corticosteroids are proposed treatments.[3]

Scalp cooling has specifically been used to prevent alopecia in docetaxel chemotherapy,[4] although it has been found prophylactic in other regimens as well.[5][6][7] Treatment effects may take time to resolve, with one study showing breast cancer survivors wearing wigs up to 2 years after chemotherapy.[8]


See also


  1. Johnstone, Ronald B. (2017). Weedon's Skin Pathology Essentials (2nd ed.). Elsevier. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-7020-6830-0. Archived from the original on 2021-05-25. Retrieved 2022-09-25.
  2. Colombe, Beth W.; Lou, Calvin D.; Price, Vera H. (December 1999). "The Genetic Basis of Alopecia Areata: HLA Associations with Patchy Alopecia Areata Versus Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis". Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings. 4 (3): 216–219. doi:10.1038/sj.jidsp.5640214. ISSN 1087-0024. Archived from the original on 2022-04-30. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  3. Joly, Pascal (2006). "The use of methtrexate alone or in combination with low doses of oral corticosteroids in the treatment of alopecia totalis or universalis". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 55 (4): 632–6. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2005.09.010. PMID 17010743.
  4. Hurk, C. J. G.; Breed, W. P. M.; Nortier, J. W. R. (2012). "Short post-infusion scalp cooling time in the prevention of docetaxel-induced alopecia". Supportive Care in Cancer. 20 (12): 3255–3260. doi:10.1007/s00520-012-1465-0. PMID 22539051.
  5. Lemieux, J. (2012). "Reducing chemotherapy-induced alopecia with scalp cooling". Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology. 10 (10): 681–682. PMID 23187775.
  6. Van Den Hurk, C. J.; Peerbooms, M.; Van De Poll-Franse, L. V.; Nortier, J. W.; Coebergh, J. W. W.; Breed, W. P. (2012). "Scalp cooling for hair preservation and associated characteristics in 1411 chemotherapy patients - Results of the Dutch Scalp Cooling Registry". Acta Oncologica. 51 (4): 497–504. doi:10.3109/0284186X.2012.658966. PMID 22304489.
  7. Yeager, C. E.; Olsen, E. A. (2011). "Treatment of chemotherapy-induced alopecia". Dermatologic Therapy. 24 (4): 432–442. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8019.2011.01430.x. PMID 21910801.
  8. Oshima, Y.; Watanabe, T.; Nakagawa, S.; Endo, A.; Shiga, C. (2012). "A questionnaire survey about hair loss after chemotherapy for breast cancer". Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy. 39 (9): 1375–1378. PMID 22996772.

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