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Tricology is that branch of dermatology that deals with the study of the anatomy, pathology and physiology of hair and hair.
The dermatologist specialized in trichology, or trichologist, is the figure to refer to in case you observe an abnormality of hair health and you want to define a suitable therapy to solve it.
The trichological examination allows to identify the causes of a possible fall or a pathology affecting the scalp. Lichen plano pilare, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, alopecia areata, tumors and precancerous are some of the conditions that can be identified with a specialist examination.
Hair loss is also among the areas of analysis of the trichological examination. The early detection of androgenetic alopecia allows the expert to intervene to interrupt or, in the most fortunate cases, reverse the progressive process of miniaturization that affects hair follicles implemented by androgenic hormones.
The stages of trichological examination
- Consult with trichologist and anamnesis
The patient’s remote and near future medical history data are collected, his clinical history analyzed.
The expert listens to the patient, understands his possible experiences in trichology, the possible therapies he underwent and his expectations.
The consultation phase is essential not only to lay the foundations for an effective drug therapy, but also to build a relationship of trust with the patient. The English use the term “compliance” to indicate the patient-medical connection, which is essential for successful treatment.
- Scalp and hair examination
The trichologist observes the scalp to identify any clinical signs indicative of a pathology.
Generally, the first diagnostic procedure used in the presence of a hair loss exceeding the norm is to extract a certain number of hair (usually between 25 and 50) in order to analyze its conformation.
The pull test consists of pulling a small strand of hair. Depending on the number of hairs removed, it is possible to identify the presence of abnormalities. Further tests include cardboard tests, parting tests and evaluation of the hair roots.
A final option is to shave a small area of the scalp in order to observe the regrowth within about a month.
- Dermatoscopy in scalp epiluminescence
Scalp dermoscopy offers a digital evaluation of the average density and diameter of the hair, the degree of miniaturization and the anagen-telogen ratio, factors impossible to detect with the naked eye.
The software allows to visualize the hair and scalp with a magnification of tens of times, obtaining deep and clear information.
Definition of a therapy based on diagnosis.
After making an accurate diagnosis the expert suggests a treatment plan, complete with posology and mode of administration, which depends on the nature of the pathology or condition.
Periodic checks to monitor the situation.
For the drug therapy to be effective, it is necessary to wait a few months. Controls are generally recommended, therefore, after a period of at least 4-6 months.
It is advisable to constantly monitor the condition in order to intervene quickly if the therapy does not produce the desired effects. In this regard, each trichological center uses specific follow-up tools to detect any positive or negative changes.
The digital photographs represent the most effective means available to the expert to observe the situation in the long term.