Exclamation point hair loss


A key diagnostic finding in a disorder with a patchy hair loss on the scalp and sometimes progresses to complete baldness and even loss of body hair.

The hair loss tends to be rather rapid and asymmetrical and is different than male pattern baldness.

Alopecia areata affects both males and females.

It tends to occur most often in children and young adults but older individuals can also be affected.

It occurs as an autoimmune mechanism, with the immune system attacking the hair follicles and disrupting normal hair formation.

Skin biopsy shows lymphocytes inside of hair follicles where lymphocytes normally are not present.

The characteristic diagnostic finding of alopecia areata is the exclamation point hair.

Exclamation point hair are short broken off hairs that are narrower closer to the scalp and therefore mimic an exclamation point.

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