Interview transcription:

What are the different types of hair loss?

Penelope Pratsou: There are so many different types of hair loss. Let’s say that you are a man or a woman with male or female pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. The first step is to think about getting hold of some Minoxidil or Regaine which are widely available topical preparations that can be obtained over-the-counter. These treatments affect the hair cycle and can be beneficial as an initial first step. In fact, it might even be the only thing you need to do.

There are other treatments, but they often come with side effects and so are not suitable for everyone. I often outline these options in greater detail after your initial consultation.

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What are the treatments for non-scarring alopecia?

Penelope Pratsou: Treatment depends on the type of non-scarring alopecia that you have. This can be determined with an initial consultation. Telogen effluvium is a self-limiting condition, which means that you often do not require any treatment. If telogen effluvium persists, Minoxidil can help.

Alopecia areata – a type of non-scarring alopecia – has an entirely different cause. With this, we’re trying to shut down the overactive immune system. This may involve a course of topical steroid preparation or steroid injections in some cases.

How do you treat scarring alopecia?

Penelope Pratsou: With scarring alopecia, first of all, we would want to know what type it is and what is causing it. I will need to examine you and, in some cases, take a small diagnostic biopsy. Following that, you might need a course of topical steroid preparation, or we might need to prescribe a course of tablets. It all depends on what type of alopecia you are suffering from.

I would say that the most important step is to get an assessment first so that we can discuss the treatment that’s suitable for you.

If you have any of the symptoms or conditions that we’ve just discussed, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr Penelope Pratsou where she’ll be able to assess your condition and give you a suitable treatment plan.

About the author

Dr Penelope Pratsou | Consultant Dermatologist

MBChB, MRCP (UK) (Dermatology)

I’m Dr Penelope Pratsou, a skilled independent Consultant Dermatologist based in Berkshire. I have specialist expertise in the diagnosis and management of all skin cancers, and in performing mole checks. I’m a trained skin surgeon and remove skin cancers, moles, skin tags, cysts and warts.

I also have invaluable experience in dealing with all skin conditions, from the common skin complaints of acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, to the rarer and more complex skin problems, having seen it all through years of NHS work.

After I obtained my Membership to the Royal College of Physicians, I undertook rigorous specialist training in dermatology, before being appointed as a Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. There, I helped set up and lead a busy clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of suspected skin cancer. I was also actively involved in supervising and training both dermatology and GP trainees.

Alongside my increasingly busy private practice, I have maintained an NHS practice in Oxford in order to continue to engage with challenging cases and to develop my specialist interest in skin allergy.

Learn more about me