A man suffering from alopecia areata

What is Focal Alopecia?

Focal Alopecia is a common disorder that affects thousands of people across the world. Not only is the pattern of hair loss varying amongst individuals, but the causes are also. While some may have a few patches of hair loss, others may be more extreme, such as loss of hair in the face, body, and entire scalp.

Many times, focal Alopecia causes individuals to lose their self-esteem and their confidence. Hence, the proper diagnosis of hair loss helps determine the treatment’s efficacy.


  1. What is focal Alopecia?
  2. How do you diagnose Alopecia?
  3. What can scalp biopsy diagnose?
  4. Can my hair grow back again if I have Alopecia?
  5. Conclusion

What is focal Alopecia?

Focal alopecia can be either scarred or unscarred hair loss in a focused area of the scalp. It’s secondary to the main cause of your hair loss that somehow has affected the hair follicles.

While non-scarring Alopecia is more common, scarring alopecia may demand more attention and treatment by the dermatologist.

What are the 3 types of Focal Alopecia

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata occurs due to the attack on the human immune system, thus weakening the hair follicle and causing the hair to fall out.

Alopecia Areata can also be seen as a patchy pattern of hair loss (often round), resulting in a spotty scalp. This kind of hair loss is associated with non-scarring smooth hairless patches.

Facts about Alopecia Areata

  • Hair loss increases as attacks in the hair follicle increase
  • No destruction of the hair follicle
  • Hair growth through hair transplant surgery is possible in cases of Alopecia Areata
  • The disease is not preventable

Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia Totalis is a severe form of Alopecia Areata. The hair loss here affects the eyebrows, eyelashes, and whole scalp. Alopecia Totalis is non-scarring Alopecia following attacks on the hair follicle, which triggers inflammation causing the hair to fall out.

Facts about Alopecia Totalis
  • The recovery rate is relatively high
  • It is usually hereditary or genetically disposed
  • Long term Alopecia Totalis may lead to Alopecia Universalis
  • Early treatment is advisable
  • Alopecia Totalis may be temporary or permanent

Alopecia Universalis

A man with patchy hair loss waiting for a diagnosisThis is the rarest and most severe type of Alopecia. Hair loss occurs in the scalp and body. Generally, this kind of hair loss involves the total loss of hair in the scalp and body of the patient. Patients here are treated to either reduce the rate of hair loss or stop the hair loss.

Facts about Alopecia Universalis
  • This hair loss can trigger other health issues such as respiratory problems
  • Itching is a symptom of this hair loss

How do you diagnose Alopecia?

Alopecia Totalis is diagnosed physically. A dermatologist can visually diagnose the kind of alopecia or conduct tests for confirmation.

The sample of your scalp may be collected for a skin biopsy in the lab, or a blood test could be done to identify the autoimmune disease. After that, suppressants, boosters, therapies, allergy stimulators, and ultraviolet light therapy may be administered.

Diagnosing Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia Universalis diagnosis is usually made with a scalp biopsy. This is because the dermatologist needs to assess the pattern of hair loss and probable causes properly.

This kind of hair loss is extensive but non-scarring. For improved accuracy, the doctor would have to conduct blood work for you and determine how best to treat your condition.

Diagnosis of Alopecia Areata

Dermatologists may carry out a physical examination of the amount of hair loss. For in-depth analysis, examining the hair samples under a microscope can help determine the pattern of hair loss.

If other conditions are suspected, blood tests may be necessary to assess the possibility of other causal factors. After diagnosis, the doctor could prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or topical treatments.

Additionally, a derma scope could be used to examine your hair to provide you with the proper treatment. You may also be advised a little longer for natural hair growth before treatment is administered.

What can scalp biopsy diagnose?

A man with bald patches before and after his hair transplantScalp biopsy is the diagnosis of the skin or hair to determine the causes of hair loss. Scalp biopsy is carried out to accurately define the cause of hair loss in a patient and how best to treat it. Scalp examination confirms the condition of Alopecia.

A biopsy of the scalp helps to diagnose:

  • Hair loss triggers
  • The severity of hair loss
  • The origin/cause of the hair loss
  • Possible treatment options for the patient

Can my hair grow back again if I have Alopecia?

Hair growth is possible after a hair loss condition. Sometimes, hair growth occurs on its own within a few months or years. In some cases, prescribed medication also helps in the regrowth of hair.

In other cases, it may either be long term or short term. Other patients may require a hair transplant before hair growth is possible.

What is the best treatment for Alopecia?

Hair transplants are the best treatment option for alopecia because they are the only long-term solution. They are a one-time procedure that restores the hair that was lost to result in a naturally thick head of hair. When you see the final results, there no indication that your previously suffered from hair loss.


Focal Alopecia is the loss of hair in a focused area of the scalp. This hair loss has various types, such as the Alopecia Areata which deals with patchy loss of hair on the scalp; the Alopecia Totalis which pertains to the loss of hair on the entire scalp, eyelashes and brows; and the Alopecia Universalis which refers to the loss of hair in the scalp and body of a person. These hair loss types can result from various reasons, which could be hereditary or normal.

However, while hair growth is possible in all focal hair loss cases, hair transplant serves as the most reliable means for hair growth.

At Elithair, the professionals carry out proper diagnosis and treatment of hair loss to improve your confidence and give you a refined look. With their physical examination and treatment patterns, full recovery is achievable.

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