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Alopecia areata (comparison with tinea capitis)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Tinea capitis:

  • more common in children
  • may also effect siblings at the same time
  • alopecia may be associated with itchiness
  • scalp shows scaling, and areas of irregular hair loss, with broken hairs
  • may be a kerion

Alopecia areata:

  • affects any age and both sexes
  • may have a family history of auto-immune disease or alopecia areata
  • exclamation mark hairs (located at the edge of the patch of alopecia) are pathognomonic
  • localised, round bald patches generally develop suddenly over one or two weeks, without any preceding symptoms
  • finger nails may be pitted and ridged

See more details about these conditions in the linked terms below.


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