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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Frontal fibrosing alopecia


Other Names for this Disease
  • FFA
Related Diseases
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

I have been diagnosed with frontal fibrosing hair loss (alopecia).  Is this condition going to cause all of my hair to fall out or will the hair loss stop at some point?  Will medication help, or are the side effects too concerning?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Does frontal fibrosing alopecia lead to total hair loss or will hair loss stop at some point?

Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is usually described as "slowly progressive" and the associated hair loss does stabilize in many affected people. It, therefore, does not usually lead to total hair loss. Hair loss has been shown to stabilize both with and without treatment. This has led some researchers to question whether treatment for this condition is necessary since the hair loss may stop naturally.[1] However, other researchers suggest that treatment should be started quickly to control the inflammation that destroys hair follicles in an effort to prevent any additional hair loss.[2]
Last updated: 1/20/2014

How might frontal fibrosing alopecia be treated?

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA).[3] Because the hair loss associated with this condition is thought to be caused by inflammation of hair follicles, treatment often involves using anti-inflammatory medications or ointments, such as corticosteroids or hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil), to reduce inflammation and suppress the body's immune system.[2] Medications that block the production of the male hormone 5-alpha reductase have been reported to stop further hair loss in some women.[3] Researchers continue to question whether treatment is effective or if hair loss in FFA just stops naturally.[1]
Last updated: 1/20/2015

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • FFA
Related Diseases
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.