Understanding Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA): Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Published on 16 December 2023 at 19:38

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) is a form of scarring hair loss that primarily affects the central scalp area, gradually spreading outward. This condition is prevalent among people with African descent, but it can affect individuals of any ethnic background. Despite its prevalence, awareness of CCCA is relatively low, making it crucial to shed light on this particular type of alopecia.

Causes and Risk Factors: The exact cause of CCCA remains unknown, but several factors are believed to contribute to its development. Genetic predisposition, hairstyling practices (such as braids, weaves, and chemical treatments), and the use of hot combs or flat irons are considered potential triggers. The inflammation and scarring that characterize CCCA may be linked to trauma to the hair follicles over time.

Symptoms: CCCA typically starts in the central part of the scalp and spreads outward, leading to scarring and permanent hair loss. Initially, individuals may notice gradual hair thinning, itching, and tenderness. As the condition progresses, affected areas may become smooth and shiny due to the scarring of the hair follicles.

Diagnosis and Management: Diagnosing CCCA involves a thorough examination of the scalp and, in some cases, a scalp biopsy to confirm scarring. Early detection is crucial to prevent further hair loss and manage the condition effectively.

While there is no cure for CCCA, various management strategies can help slow its progression and alleviate symptoms. Dermatologists may recommend discontinuing certain hairstyling practices that contribute to trauma, adopting gentle hair care routines, and avoiding harsh chemicals. Topical and oral medications, such as corticosteroids, may be prescribed to reduce inflammation.

Embracing Support and Seeking Professional Guidance: Living with CCCA can be challenging, both emotionally and physically. Support groups and online communities provide a platform for individuals to share their experiences and coping strategies. Seeking professional guidance from dermatologists who specialize in hair disorders is essential for personalized treatment plans and emotional support.

In conclusion, understanding CCCA is vital for early detection and effective management. By raising awareness and promoting a proactive approach to hair care, individuals can take steps to preserve their hair health and seek appropriate interventions when needed.


--Nicole Trahan

Cranial Prosthesis Specialist

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