Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia: An Emerging Epidemic

Paradi Mirmirani, Antonella Tosti, Lynne Goldberg, David Whiting, Bahman Sotoodian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Since the initial description of frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) in 1994, increasingly more cases of FFA have been reported in literature. Although clear epidemiologic data on the incidence and prevalence of FFA is not available, it is intriguing to consider whether FFA should be labeled as an emerging epidemic. A medline trend analysis as well as literature review using keywords "alopecia," "hair loss," and "cicatrical" were performed. Medline trend analysis of published FFA papers from 1905 to 2016 showed that the number of publications referenced in Medline increased from 1 (0.229%) in 1994 to 44 (3.5%) in 2016. The number of patients per published cohort also increased dramatically since the first report of FFA. Over the time period of January 2006-2016, our multi hair-referral centers collaboration study also showed a significant increase in new diagnoses of FFA. At this juncture, the cause for the rapid rise in cases is one of speculation. It is plausible that a cumulative environmental or toxic factor may trigger hair loss in FFA. Once perhaps a "rare type" of cicatricial alopecia, FFA is now being seen in a frequency in excess of what is expected, thus suggestive of an emerging epidemic. 2018

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalSkin Appendage Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Epidemic
  • Frontal fibrosing alopecia
  • Scarring alopecia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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