Lichen planopilaris is a rare inflammatory condition that causes scarring hair loss. It can also affect the skin, mucosa and nails. Smooth, white patches of hair loss occur and redness and scale may be present around the hair follicles. Symptoms can be absent, but can also be associated with pain and itching. Dr Ophelia will undertake a diagnosis by careful examination and by taking a history. A scalp biopsy is sometimes required to help confirm this diagnosis.
Dr Ophelia will recommend that treatment be sought early, with the aim of preventing the condition from progressing and causing further hair loss. It should also be explained to patients that this condition tends to ‘burn itself out’ naturally with time. However, Dr Ophelia will advise on topical, oral and injection based therapies to manage the active period of the condition.