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Dermatopathology: Practical & Conceptual October - December 2000
Quandary Resolved!: “Hot Comb Alopecia”/“Follicular Degeneration Syndrome” in African-American Women Is Traction Alopecia!
A. Bernard Ackerman, M.D.
Norman W. Walton, III, M.D.
Robert E. Jones, M.D.
Christine Charissi, M.D.
Synonymy of “Follicular Degeneration Syndrome” and “Hot Comb Alopecia”
Importance of Knowledge of Histology and the Follicular Cycle
Crtitique of the Notion of “Follicular Degeneration”
Histopathologic Findings in Chronological Sequence
“Hot Comb Alopecia”/“Follicular Degeneration Syndrome” is Traction Alopecia
The title of this article tells the whole story, namely, what has been dubbed "hot comb alopecia" and "follicular degeneration syndrome" simply is alopecia consequent to the effects of longstanding, vigorous traction. That reality has implications that transcend the realms of dermatology and pathology; mothers of very young African-American girls should refrain scrupulously from attempting to straighten the hair of those children by methods that employ traction. The result of that misguided endeavor is permanent alopecia that even may make itself apparent in childhood.
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