Scarring Hair Loss Conditions

Treatment of folliculitis decalvans with photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy for Folliculitis Decalvans

Dr Jeff Donovan, Canadian Hair Loss Foundation

Folliculitis decalvans is a type of scarring hair loss condition and can be challenging to treat. Hair loss is generally permanent once it occurs and the goal of treatment is to stop the disease from getting worse. A variety of treatments including antibiotics are often used. 

In a study from Spain, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a treatment called photodynamic therapy  in the treatment of folliculitis decalvans. The group studied 10 patients, all who had previously been unsuccessfully treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. 9 of 10 patients benefitted from the photodynamic therapy. However, in 3 patients this benefit did not last long and other treatments were needed to maintain an improvement.  Most patients tolerated the procedure with side effects being pain, and local inflammatory type reactions. 

Overall this is an interesting study and calls for further larger studies of the role of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of folliculits decalvans.



Treatment of folliculitis decalvans with photodynamic therapy: Results in 10 patients.

Miguel-Gomez L, Vano-Galvan S, Perez-Garcia B, Carrillo-Gijon R, Jaen-Olasolo P. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Jun;72(6):1085-7. 





Frontal fibrosing alopecia: Ridging in the forehead is a new sign

A New Observation in Patients with Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

Dr Jeff Donovan, Canadian Hair Loss Foundation

Frontal fibrosing alopecia causes hair loss along the frontal hairline and temples and sometimes even extends around the back of the scalp as well. Many patients experience eyebrow, eyelash loss and even body hair loss. 

Researchers from Spain recently reported a new finding that we should all be on the lookout for - depression of the skin overlying the frontal vein (which is a vein that can often be seen in the middle of the forehead). The researchers reported 11 women who had a depression or ridge in the skin overlying the frontal vein and propose that this too is a feature of frontal fibrosing alopecia. 


Depression of the frontal veins: A new clinical sign of frontal fibrosing alopecia.

Vañó-Galván S, Rodrigues-Barata AR, Urech M, Jiménez-Gómez N, Saceda-Corralo D, Paoli J, Cuevas J, Jaén P. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Jun;72(6):1087-8.