Diffuse symptomatic alopecia

Last Updated: 2023-10-12

Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.

ICD11: -

Alopecia symptomatica diffusa

Diffuse hair loss evenly distributed over the head, usually symptomatic in character, which cannot be assigned to either androgenetic alopecia or alopecia areata and is characterised by increased telogen effluvium.

Exogenous as well as endogenous damage to the anagen hair follicles causes them to enter the telogen stage earlier. This leads to an increased telogen effluvium. This process is often an expression of a systemic disorder.

Depending on the underlying disease, hair loss manifests itself in different patterns, e.g:

  • Iron deficiency or chemotherapy → uniform diffuse alopecia
  • Syphilis → patchy alopecia

  • Clinic
  • Laboratory examination → serum iron and ferritin, thyroid parameters (TSH, fT4, T4) and Luessuch reaction (e.g. TPHA test)
  • Biopsy

Possible over the whole skull

  • Clinic?
  • Chemotherapy?
  • Heparin?
  • Contraceptives?
  • Other medicines?

Alopecia is usually reversible when the trigger is removed.