1. What is trichoscopy?
2. What does it consist of?
3. Why is it performed?
5. Meanings of abnormal results
What is trichoscopy?
Trichoscopy is a diagnostic imaging technique. It is a non-invasive test that allows the analysis of the patient’s hair through a polarized lens.
With trichoscopy Dermatology specialists can establish an early diagnosis, identify hair pathologies and offer the most appropriate treatment.
Trichoscopy is a non-invasive test to analyze hair.
What does it consist of?
In the consultation a complete exploration of the scalp is performed. It consists of a very simple, quick and painless technique, in which a trichoscope, i.e. a polarized lens, is necessary. There are different types:
- Hand-held trichoscope: small device that allows viewing of the scalp at 10x magnification. They are used for routine check-ups.
- Trichoscope attached to a smartphone: it is a device with good image quality, which is attached to a phone. It provides magnifications of 10, 20 and 40x.
- Digital trichoscope: this is a more complex device, designed specifically for the diagnosis of alopecia. It offers high quality images, with 140x magnification, and allows for a thorough examination.
Why is it performed?
From the examination of the scalp with the trichoscope it is possible to diagnose and treat hair problems, in particular alopecia. It is also possible to monitor the effectiveness of alopecia treatment.
Preparation for trichoscopy
Trichoscopy is a quick and painless method for the patient. No prior preparation is necessary, although it is advisable to come to the consultation without any products applied to the scalp (hairspray, hair gel).
It is important that the hair is not wet or freshly washed. The hair should not have been washed in the previous 24-48 hours.
Significance of abnormal results
Trichoscopy can detect seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, scarring and autoimmune alopecia, inflammatory diseases of the scalp and hair shaft. In addition, the test evaluates perifollicular inflammation in frontal fibrosing alopecia and shows the affectations in the functioning of the hair follicle.
Trichoscopy detects pathologies of the hair and scalp and allows a specific treatment for each case.