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What is FFA (frontal fibrosing alopecia)

FFA, frontal fibrosing alopecia, is a type of scarring (cicatricial alopecia). We don’t really know why it happens but likely has much to do with genetics and hormones since it mainly affects Caucasian women around menopause. (Note: men and other ethnicities get it too.)

The condition is characterized by a recessed hairline with “lonely hairs” left behind. The skin on the hairline becomes scarlike and thinner. Prominent temporal veins, little bumps on the face, and loss of hair on other parts of the body are also seen. When you look at the hair up close with magnification, you can often see scaly accumulations around the base of the hair, as well as a surrounding halo of redness. Patients often note a tingling, burning, or pain on their scalps.

The diagnosis can be challenging, so making sure you see a dermatologist who can diagnose a start treating is extremely important because once the hair follicles are scarred over, they can’t be recovered!

- Dr. Kumar


Dr. Kumar Sukhdeo is the Chief Medical Officer and founder of Pilaris Hair Clinic. A board-certified dermatologist physician-scientist and stem cell biologist, he is an expert in the field of women's hair loss and restoration. Learn more at

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