One of the most common reasons patients come to the dermatology office is hair loss. While there are numerous reasons for hair loss, sometimes the cause is never discovered. Depending on your scalp’s appearance, your dermatologist may choose to biopsy the area of loss or may simply recommend initiation of a treatment regimen. Certain types of hair loss are impossible to stop and the focus of the care will be to strengthen the remaining hair with oral medications or possibly encourage regrowth with over-the-counter products. In other types of hair loss, steroids injected directly into the scalp can decrease inflammation and promote growth. For age-related thinning of the hair, prescriptive and non-prescription medical grade products are available.
The skin of the scalp is unique in several ways and can present with its own set of problems. Flaking of the scalp (“dandruff”) is a very common, manageable chronic condition. If the condition is mild, over-the-counter products may manage symptoms well; however, for more severe flaking, medical grade treatment may be necessary. Acne-like outbreaks on the scalp or neck may be spontaneous or the result of environmental factors. Prescription medications are often necessary to treat these conditions.