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!

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