Over the past decade, dermoscopy has seen an increase in popularity among dermatologists and other physicians for examining skin and scalp conditions. The high magnification of dermoscopy enables physicians to observe small details and subsurface skin structures which are not visible with the naked eye and therefore provides physicians with an enhanced visual diagnostic tool. Although several hair disorders like pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia are easy to diagnose and may not need any visual enhancement aid, there are in fact times when such diagnosis cannot be simply made.
Dermoscopy can identify the difference between scarring (cicatricial) and non-scarring alopecia. In some cases, with small alopecic patches or mild conditions, it could be difficult to make a proper diagnosis, and in these situations, dermoscopy helps to increase diagnostic certainty and reduce unnecessary biopsies.
Dermoscopy can also differentiate between trichotillomania and alopecia areata, as well as distinguishing the differences between androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium.
It is not only useful in clinical diagnoses, but when used by hair transplant surgeons, dermoscopy is also useful in donor hair quality and density assessments in order to achieve the desired target number of grafts in hair transplantation.
This chapter provides up-to-date information on dermoscopic findings associated with common hair and scalp disorders and its practical uses in hair transplantation.
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