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Frontal fibrosing alopecia: reflections and hypotheses on etiology and pathogenesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Christos Tziotzios, Catherine M Stefanato, David A Fenton, Michael A Simpson, John A McGrath

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Early online date20 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2016


King's Authors


Since it was first described by Kossard in 1994, frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) has been something of an enigma. The clinical heterogeneity of FFA, its apparent rarity, and investigators' suboptimal access to phenotypically consistent patient cohorts, may all have had a negative impact on delineating disease pathogenesis. Moreover, there is a relative paucity of epidemiologic interventional and basic research studies, and there have been no advances in translational therapeutics, unlike for other inflammatory dermatoses, such as alopecia areata (AA). Dermatologists anecdotally describe an increasing incidence in FFA over the last decade, which has led to the notion that the disorder may be induced by unknown environmental triggers. On the other hand, segregation of FFA in some families lends support to an unexplored genetic element implicated in disease pathogenesis. We herein review what is known about the pathobiology of FFA and formulate working hypotheses to advance insight into this intriguing hair disorder. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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