What Is Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia? CCCA

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) is a type of alopecia characterized by hair loss at the crown of the head that widens over time. Occurring almost exclusively in black women, CCCA often starts slowly with hair that breaks easily and begins to thin gradually. However, as it progresses, hair loss becomes more noticeable and may be accompanied by additional symptoms, including:

  • A burning sensation
  • Scalp flaking and scaling
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Bumps
  • Tenderness

Hair loss due to central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia is permanent and is often accompanied by scarring. The condition can go into remission and then flare up.  Therefore, it is best to speak to a qualified dermatologist as soon as symptoms begin to avoid difficulties in treating scarred areas and progression of the condition.

What Causes CCCA?

The exact cause of this type of hairloss is unknown. As with all types of alopecia, however, the condition may be genetic. Specific gene variants can be found in around a quarter of patients experiencing CCCA. However, other factors may also play a role, including uterine fibroids. In addition, some studies suggest hairstyling practices, and products may contribute to CCCA.

Can Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia be Treated?

Treatment for CCCA focuses on preventing progression, reducing symptoms, and encouraging hair regrowth. It is important to remember that it may not be possible to have complete hair regrowth in areas that have become scarred. With early treatment, however, some hair can be restored and progression of hair loss prevented. This type of hair loss is a chronic condition

Common treatments for CCCA include topical and injected corticosteroids, minoxidil, oral antibiotics, metformin and red light. In end-stage cases, some patients require a hair transplant.

Because CCCA primarily affects black women, choosing a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Dina Strachan, who is experienced in treating hair loss in African Americans, is essential. If you have begun to notice the symptoms of CCCA, please call our New York City office at 212-627-1004 to schedule a one-on-one consultation and learn how Dr. Strachan can help restore your comfort and confidence.

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