Why You Need A Dermatologist For Hair Loss | Dr Anastasia Therianou MD, PhD
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Why You Need A Dermatologist For Hair Loss – Not A Trichologist

11 Mar 2020

If you are looking for the right person to treat your hair loss it’s important to know the facts so that you get the very best treatment available. Hair loss can be caused by a whole range of conditions, such as alopecia areata, many different autoimmune diseases, anaemia, thyroid disorders, traction, and baldness. While it can potentially be caused by one of these disorders, female hair loss can also occur as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome after pregnancy and during menopause.

Dermatologist or Trichologist?

With so many possible causes of hair loss, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and this is why a dermatologist is the best option. Dermatologists have medical training, unlike trichologists who are qualified by and registered with the Institute of Trichologists.

Trichologist is an expert in human hair, a Dermatologist is a medical doctor

A trichologist is an expert in human hair, from making it look its best through to treating problems with your hair and scalp. A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in skin, hair, and nails – and has the training and expertise to conduct a full examination and any necessary tests to give an accurate diagnosis.

This training and depth of knowledge are vital. Typically a trichologist will train for up to four years. My training to become a dermatologist included six years of medical school, two more years of core medical training, four years specializing in dermatology, then another year on my special interest areas. That’s 13 years of medical training to specialize in skin and hair, giving a depth of knowledge that enables the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of hair loss conditions. I am one of the few dermatologists in the UK who specializes in hair loss.

A trichologist is not medically trained

A trichologist can of course help in some cases but can only give patients topical treatment for hair loss, as they are not medically trained. Unlike a dermatologist, they cannot perform tests that help with the diagnosis and evaluation of the condition and inform the best course of treatment; these require special training.

For example, a dermatologist can perform a trichoscopy with a video dermatoscopy, a non-invasive technique that allows a rapid and magnified observation of the skin’s surface enabling the evaluation of hair thickness, presence of regrowing hairs and scalp inflammation. We can also perform a trigonometry, which involves an instrument that provides a numeric value of the hair quality. All of which are vital to in-depth diagnosis.

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Dermatologists can also carry out a scalp biopsy, where a sample from the scalp is taken under local anaesthetic and tested under the microscope by a histopathologist. These tests are often necessary to evaluate cases of hair loss.

Only a dermatologist is qualified to carry out these tests, without which a full and thorough evaluation and diagnosis is not possible. Getting to the cause of your condition leads to better treatment. Furthermore, there are a variety of oral treatments available for hair disorders which a trichologist cannot prescribe – but a dermatologist can so these are some reasons why you need a dermatologist for hair loss and not a Trichologist.

A trichologist can only give you topical treatments for hair loss, such as minoxidil of various strengths. While dermatologists may prescribe this, they can also administer oral minoxidil, injections in the scalp, other tablets such as spironolactone or finasteride, or a combination of the above with other oral treatments. In this way a dermatologist has a far greater range and depth of diagnostic tools and techniques to help them evaluate your hair loss and its causes, and is far more likely to get you good regrowth results.

So if you are concerned about hair loss and want the most thorough and effective treatment and advice, please get in touch. The sooner you find out what’s causing your hair loss and get treatment and advice, the better your results. To arrange a consultation with me, Dr. Anastasia Therianou, an expert in dermatological care for hair loss and mole problems, call 0203 464 4884.









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