Patchy Hair Loss

  • Anupam Das
  • Piyush Kumar


  • Alopecia areata (AA) manifests as well-demarcated patches of non-scarring alopecia. AA is usually noticed suddenly

  • Nail changes are common and include geometric pitting, punctate leukonychia, and trachyonychia, i.e. sandpaper nails

  • AA may be associated with atopy, autoimmune thyroiditis, vitiligo, psoriasis, diabetes mellitus, autosomal recessive autoimmune polyglandular syndrome, among other autoimmune conditions

  • Dermoscopy is an easy and useful technique of diagnosis of alopecia

  • Characteristic features of AA in dermoscopy include yellow dots, black dots, broken hairs, tapering hair and short vellus hairs

  • Presence of exclamatory mark hairs at periphery, positive hair pull test (>6 hairs), daily hair loss count (>100 hairs), predominance of telogen hairs in pluck test and black dots, broken hair, and tapering hair in dermoscopy, suggest active disease


Alopecia areata Geometric pitting Trachyonychia Dermoscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anupam Das
    • 1
  • Piyush Kumar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyKPC Medical CollegeKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyKatihar Medical CollegeKatiharIndia

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