Fringe - All About Hair

This blog explores topics in 'Trichology' (the orthodox sciences of human hair). We welcome you either as an interested visitor or a prospective student seeking to study trichology to share your comments and experience. As the archives continue to accumulate, probably at some point they will become a useful reference for all. This hair loss forum may help you to grow hair too!

PRP in Alopecia Areata

I have blogged about the probability of PRP being an effective modality for hair loss though its wider indications in cosmetic dermatology is less convincing. A new study has demonstrated that PRP may be useful in Alopecia Areata as well. The study published in BJD compares PRP to intralesional Triamcinolone and placebo and demonstrates superiority of PRP.[1] Though it is pilot study with less power, the Ki-67 an excellent marker to determine the growth fraction of a given cell population was included as a secondary outcome measure.

Alopecia areata. Español: Alopecia areata. Ita...
Alopecia areata. Español: Alopecia areata. Italiano: Un esempio di alopecia areata classica. Polski: Łysienie plackowate. Türkçe: Saçkıran. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Objective assessment of alopecia and its response to treatment is very difficult and is not often sensitive enough. Changes in hair mass is influenced by both the density and diameter of hair. A new device called HairCheck can measure and represent hair caliber and hair density together in a single number. Here is a study that demonstrates the use of HairCheck.[2] The authors have named this method cross-section trichometry (CST) a less attractive name than the device itself!


1. Trink, A. "A randomized, double-blind, placebo and active-controlled, half ..." 2013. <>

2. Wikramanayake, TC. "Cross-section Trichometry: A Clinical Tool for Assessing the ..." 2012. <;year=2012;volume=4;issue=4;spage=259;epage=264;aulast=Wikramanayake;type=0>

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Coiled hair shafts in keratosis pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris (KP) is a common complaint in adolescent girls. KP may not be a single entity as different morphological types are described. The most common variant of KP presents as reddish bumps on the back and outer aspects of the arm. It aggravates after waxing and I have personally noticed good improvement after laser hair removal. Till now it was considered a disorder of keratinisation.

keratosis_pilaris (Photo credit: ladypictureshow)
Dermatologists from Seth GS Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, have proposed an interesting new pathogenic mechanism for this common condition.[1] They have observed coiled hair shaft inside KP on dermoscopy that retained the coiled nature even after extraction. There was no obvious keratin plug. That explains the improvement following laser hair removal. Coiled hair may also make hair removal procedures more traumatic making the perifollicular inflammation more prominent.

Would hair softeners be of any help? Checkout curlynikki’s take on natural hair softners:

Here is an interesting article that describes the use of topical melatonin in androgenetic alopecia.[2] Out of curiosity I checked the wikipedia page on melatonin. Readers may be interested to know that melatonin supplementation causes vivid dreaming! Any perceived connection is likely to be just a coincidence.  :-)


1. Keratosis Pilaris Revisited: Is It More Than Just a Follicular Keratosis?. 2013. 3 May. 2013 <;year=2012;volume=4;issue=4;spage=255;epage=258;aulast=Thomas> (Full article available from journal website free)

2. Fischer, TW et al. "Topical Melatonin for Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia." International Journal of Trichology 4.4 (2012): 236.

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON