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Indian J Med Res. 2016 October; 144(4): 639.
PMCID: PMC5345317

Alopecias: Practical evaluation and management

Reviewed by V. Ramesh

D. Ioannides, A. Tosti, editors. 2015. Karger: Basel, Switzerland. 164. US$ 222.00 / CHF 189.00 / EUR 177.00. ISBN 978-3-318-02774-7.

This book is a comprehensive guide to management of hair disorders. The book has 15 chapters addressing various aspects of hair-related complaints. Each chapter has been concisely written with self-explanatory clinical images and an abstract at the start giving an overview of the chapter. The chapter “Evaluation of Hair Loss” is well written with pointwise description of history to be taken from the patient. The clinical images and description of clinical tests for diagnosis are lucid. The chapter “Scalp Dermoscopy or Trichoscopy” covers all relevant clinical conditions and their findings. Similarly other topics like androgenetic alopecia in men, female pattern hair loss, molecular genetics of alopecia, alopecias due to drugs and other systemic disorders, effect of ultraviolet radiation, smoking and nutrition on hair, hair care and dyeing and age-related hair pigment loss have been written well covering historical aspects as well as latest issues on management. Frontal fibrosing alopecia is discussed well and diagnosis of conditions like loose anagen syndrome is comprehensive. A good description of transient neonatal hair loss (TNHL) is also given to dispel common myths. The chapter on molecular genetics adds new dimensions in the investigation of hair disorders. The authors and editors must be credited for the quality and number of images provided in the book. Hair transplantation being in vogue and well-advanced currently has been included as a separate chapter and has dealt well with the different types of procedures.

Some statements have been decisively made, eg., on page 7, 2nd column the authors state that with all beauty treatments a quantifiable improvement in a particular parameter may not translate into subjective improvement by the consumer, indicating a limitation rarely mentioned by others. The area of involvement of ophiasis on page 13 should have been clearly defined as the occipital area, rather than marginal areas which could mean any margin. On page 39 the mention of topical minoxidil 10 per cent has not been made. Words like ‘fungal potassium hydroxide’ on page 57 should have been written as ‘KOH preparation for demonstration of fungal elements’.

The book has certain limitations such as lack of diagrams of anatomy of hair and hair follicles, information on platelet-rich-plasma therapy and telogen effluvium and lack of clinical images in paediatric hair disorders and alopecia areata. Overall, the language used is simple and clear and the content is good for a practising dermatologist. For a postgraduate student, the book gives good images, and can be used as a handbook for ready information.

Articles from The Indian Journal of Medical Research are provided here courtesy of Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications