Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of alopecia areata: an observational study from South India


  • Jisy S. Raghavan Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Kannur Medical College, Kannur, Kerala, India
  • Kunnummal Muhammed Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Kannur Medical College, Kannur, Kerala, India
  • Sharim Fathima Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Kannur Medical College, Kannur, Kerala, India




Alopecia areata, Atopy, Vitiligo, Anagen


Background: Paucity of literature on epidemiological studies of alopecia areata (AA) from Indian subcontinent especially from southern India. The objectives of the study were to study the epidemiological and clinical profile of alopecia areata in a population from northern part of South India.

Methods: The epidemiology including pattern, risk factors and associations were evaluated in all newly diagnosed alopecia areata cases seen from January 2017 to December 2017 in a tertiary hospital in South India.

Results: The incidence of AA was 2% of total dermatology outpatients. 60 new case referrals of AA were seen from January 2017 to December 2017. Male to female ratio was almost equal. Maximum number of patients with AA belonged to the age group of 21-40 years (50%). Occiput was the commonest site involved in AA (36.8%) followed by vertex (27.6%). 30% of the patients gave a past history of AA and 21.7% gave a family history of AA. 15% of AA patients had history of atopy. Nail changes were found in 30% of patients. 5% of AA patients had associated vitiligo. On microscopic examination of plucked hair early dystrophic anagen hair predominated (70%) as against (16.7%) of dystrophic telogen hair.

Conclusions: The clinical characteristics of alopecia areata throws light from a data sparse geographical region but warrants further detailed studies for improved understanding.


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