Hair transplant or hair patch? Which one should you opt for if you have a hair loss condition affecting only a small area attributed to accidents, burn injuries or in Alopecia areata?
In this educational video, Dr John Watts – a noted dermatologist, trichologist and hair transplant surgeon in Hyderabad – explains the options to his readers to help them make an informed decision about the best solution.
Hair loss in small areas may often turn into an awkward situation for those affected as they may feel embarrassed to lead a normal social life even though the condition does not affect the entire scalp.
“Alopecia areata often causes such situations. From the shape of a coin, gradually they may affect the entire scalp if the condition is untreated. But if the area of hair loss is still small, one can get a hair patch instead of a hair transplant as a solution,” informed Dr John.
Hair Transplant: Not recommended
While the usual thought is to get a hair transplant as a solution for Alopecia areata condition, it is not advisable. “Alopecia areata is an auto-immune condition where the healthy hair follicles are attacked by the body’s immune system. So, if healthy hair is transplanted they would also be attacked unless one is completely cured of this condition,” informed Dr John.
It is of paramount importance that both the donor region and the recipient region need to be healthy before a hair transplant is undertaken. This is not possible when one has fibrous issues due to burning injuries on the scalp in a small region or when one has untreated Alopecia areata.
“There are already inflammatory mediators active in the region affected by Alopecia areata. Hence, no hair transplant would be successful as the body’s immune system would mistake them as a foreign body and attack them,” he warned.
In contrast, a hair patch provides a better alternative if a hair transplant is not a viable solution in cases of small scalp injuries causing damage to small areas of the scalp due to Alopecia areata or if one has hair pulling disorder.
“In hair pulling disorder, one needs behavioural change and no hair transplant would work if the condition is not treated or counselled through the help of a psychologist or a psychiatrist,” informed Dr John.
A hair patch may also be considered as the only alternative if one has an untreatable burn condition in a small area causing permanent damage to the vital skin structure of the scalp region.
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Disclaimer: While hair transplants are generally safe and effective, as with any medical procedure, there can be minimal and temporary side effects based on specific or underlying medical condition of the individual patient. Please consult in person with our qualified medical team at Trichos for a thorough assessment of your specific condition and individualized guidance on the potential risks and benefits associated with our hair restoration treatments.
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