A woman from Burnley in Lancashire, who suffered severe scarring to her head and body when she was involved in a house fire as a baby, has set her hopes on a transplant to deal with the hair loss from burns which she has endured for almost her whole life.
Local newspaper Pendle Today reported that 19-year-old Chantelle Ryan, pictured, who has just started a hair and beauty course at a nearby college, has been to see a specialist about the operation in Manchester but that the hair transplant would be carried out in London.
Chantelle was still an infant when she suffered 24 per cent burns and major lung damage when a burning ceiling tile fell into her cot. Since then, she has endured multiple operations to try and minimise scarring, though scalp burns are notoriously hard for doctors to work with because the fire often destroys the hair follicles completely.
This type of hair loss is known as Scarring Alopecia, though the medical community often refers to it as Cicatricial Alopecia. Surprisingly, it is not confined to people whose hair has been lost to a physical injury which has indirectly affected the hair follicles, such as from burns or radiation. Sometimes this hair loss condition can occur due to severe inflammation which targets the hair follicle directly, as is the case with Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia and Pseudopelade.
Permanent hair loss results once the follicles have died, leading the skin to adopt a shiny appearance which is the easiest way to visually determine true baldness.
Treatment options for scarring alopecia
While there are trials currently looking to develop treatments for Cicatricial Alopecia, there are currently no proven remedies or treatments available.
However, one specific type of the condition – Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, also known as Follicular Degeneration Syndrome, has in some cases been seen to respond well to minoxidil, which is generally more widely known as an MHRA-approved treatment for Male Pattern Baldness.
Hair restoration surgery is generally the most promising option in cases of Scarring Alopecia where new hair may be grafted onto the affected areas, but sadly this is not always possible.
Suitability is decided strictly on a case-by-case basis and can be influenced by factors including the patient’s condition, level of hair loss and the surgeon’s confidence in any prospective procedure being successful. As such, there is no general rule of thumb that can be applied and the only way people with any form of cicatricial alopecia can find out if they are suitable for a hair transplant is to speak to a specialist surgeon.
As her prognosis in this respect is reportedly good, with luck and a skilled surgeon, Chantelle’s hair loss may soon be a thing of the past, and everyone at Belgravia wishes her all the best with her procedure.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.