Trichogram: Diagnosing alopecia

TrichogramA trichogram is the appropriate method for a dermatologist to determine the type of hair loss and decide on the course of treatment.

What are the reasons behind hair loss? Normally, we lose up to 100 hairs daily.

However, factors such as:

  • Stress
  • Invasive techniques on hair
  • Seasonality (e.g. autumn)
  • A diet poor in nutrients
  • Anaemia
  • Hormonal changes (e.g. after childbirth, menopause)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Heredity
  • Autoimmune diseases (e.g. alopecia areata)

contribute, among other things, to pathological hair loss.

Some of the above factors are treatable, in which case hair loss can be reversed (e.g. by a change in diet, thyroid treatment etc.).

However, genetic factors and various autoimmune diseases may result in various forms of alopecia.

A visit to the doctor for obtaining a diagnosis and finding the causes of hair loss is decisive to the progress of the treatment.

A trichogram is a considerable examination which can give answers to the issue of hair loss.

What it is

The trichogram is a special diagnostic method which enables us to look into the causes of hair loss, so as to subsequently select the appropriate treatment.

A trichogram actually records the rate of normal and pathological hair and identifies whether the life cycle of hair follows the normal process, as what is mostly important is the regrowth of hair, the number of hair falling, and the number of dystrophic hairs (notably hairs which are thinner and with a shorter life span than normal).

When to have a trichogram?

Trichogram is an examination appropriate for conditions such as adrogenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, chronic diffuse alopecia. Moreover, a trichogram is recommended in cases of iron deficiency or thyroid disorders.

With this examination, a doctor is able to diagnose the type of alopecia, provide medical advice and recommend the most appropriate treatment for the patient.

Moreover, the trichogram enables us to monitor and look into the progress of a treatment, within a relatively short period no less.

How does a trichogram work?

The trichogram examination is simple and direct.

Using a special medical tool, the “needle holder”, the dermatologist plucks approximately 50 hairs from the scalp.

These hairs are then examined under the microscope in order to identify which of those are healthy, which are pathological, and determine whether hair regrowth follows a normal rate.

In a trichogram, hairs are plucked from various parts of the scalp in order to come up with a sample which is complete and representative.

As an individual normally loses 50-100 hairs per day, in a trichogram we expect 70% of the hairs to be in anagen (the development phase), <2% in catagen (the transitional phase before hairs fall out), < 20% in telogen (a resting phase until hairs fall out) and only up to 5% to be characterised as dystrophic hairs.

A necessary condition for a trichogram to perform correctly is not to have washed our hair for 3-5 days.


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