Background: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a non-scarring form of patterned hair loss characterized by the miniaturization of terminal hair into vellus hair. The scalp biopsy was once considered an ideal tool for diagnosing the disease, though dermatoscopy has emerged as a reliable technique that can aid in the diagnosis and monitor the disease severity.
Methods: A total of 68 patients (38 males and 30 females) in the age group of 21-70 years attending the dermatology outpatient department in 1 year were included in the study. A detailed history was taken, followed by a scalp examination. The type of hair loss in each patient was documented. Then, a dermatoscopic examination was done using a Dermlite DL4 dermoscope.
Results: Hair thickness heterogeneity was the most common dermatoscopic feature seen in all the patients of male and female pattern hair loss. There was a positive correlation between some dermatoscopic variables such as yellow dots and perifollicular pigmentation with the disease severity. Yellow dots were seen in the late stages of AGA (P < 0.01), while perifollicular pigmentation was observed in the early stages of AGA (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: Trichoscopy is a simple and non-invasive office tool that aids in diagnosing AGA. It allows the various sections of hair to be examined simultaneously and obviates the need for a scalp biopsy. Besides this, it helps assess the disease severity and the photographic documentation at each visit helps monitor the response to treatment.