WASHINGTON — In a survey of almost 6,000 black women, almost half reported hair loss on the crown or top of scalp, according to a presentation at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting.
“We recently partnered with the Black Women’s Health Study at Boston University to explore prevalence of hair loss in African-American women, and of the [5,594] women who have completed the survey so far, 47% of them have hair loss,” Yolanda M. Lenzy, MD, FAAD, clinical associate, University of Connecticut, Farmingham, and medical director of Lenzy Dermatology & Hair Loss Center, Chicopee, Massachusetts, told Healio.com/Dermatology.
Yolanda M. Lenzy
“Of those women, about 80% reported that they had never seen a physician for hair loss, which is representing a huge unmet need.”
Lenzy discussed her research at a forum titled, “Updates in the Epidemic in African American Women.”
She reported in an AAD press release that the top cause of hair loss in black women in central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA), in which inflammation and destruction of the hair follicle cause scarring and hair loss.
The population may also be affected by female pattern baldness and traction alopecia, which is caused by pulling the hair too tight.
Although 40.9% of the survey respondents had reported a level of hair loss consistent with CCCA, only 8.8% were diagnosed with the condition by a physician, Lenzy said.
Lenzy suggests that dermatologists work with hairstylists to educate them to recognize signs of hair loss.
“Conditions like CCCA are underdiagnosed and undertreated,” Lenzy told Healio.com/Dermatology. “By partnering with hairstylists in the community, we can educate them, which can help patients to get in sooner for treatment.” – by Bruce Thiel
Disclosure: Lenzy reports receiving grants and research funding from Sundial Brands.