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Notable Notes
August 18, 2008

Trichoscopy

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(8):1007. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.8.1007

Trichoscopy, a new ancillary method for diagnosis of hair loss, uses videodermoscopy (or dermoscopy) of hair, scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes to visualize and measure hair at high magnification. The usual working magnifications are 20-fold to 70-fold. While the handheld dermoscope with 10-fold magnification may give easy and quick evaluation of hair, it does not precisely measure or document. Trichoscopy is not used to detect or evaluate scalp tumors.

The use of trichoscopy to investigate scalp abnormalities in persons with hair loss dates back to the early 1990s, but the method gained popularity in recent years. In 2004, Lacarrubba et al1 first described videodermoscopic features of alopecia areata. In 2005, Olszewska and Rudnicka2 first used videodermoscopy for evaluation of disease severity in androgenic alopecia and for monitoring treatment efficacy. In 2006, Ross et al3 specified videodermoscopy features of different acquired hair and scalp diseases. In 2006, the term trichoscopy for hair and scalp videodermoscopy in hair loss diagnostics was first used.4

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