Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Dermatol. May 2, 2015; 4(2): 63-68
Published online May 2, 2015. doi: 10.5314/wjd.v4.i2.63
Trichoscopy: Essentials for the dermatologist
Juan Antonio Moreno Romero, Ramon Grimalt
Juan Antonio Moreno Romero, Department of Dermatology, Hospital General de Catalunya, 08195 Barcelona, Spain
Ramon Grimalt, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, 08195 Barcelona, Spain
Author contributions: All the authors contributed to conception, design and drafting the article; all the authors have approved the article.
Conflict-of-interest: None.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Ramon Grimalt, Professor, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Major 16 08221 Terrassa, 08195 Barcelona, Spain. rgrimalt@uic.es
Telephone: +34-93-7801115 Fax: +34-93-7800011
Received: November 20, 2014
Peer-review started: November 22, 2014
First decision: December 26, 2014
Revised: February 25, 2015
Accepted: March 16, 2015
Article in press: March 18, 2015
Published online: May 2, 2015

Noninvasive in vivo imaging techniques have become an important diagnostic aid for dermatology. Dermoscopy, also known as dermatoscopy, has been shown to increase the clinician’s diagnostic accuracy when evaluating cutaneous neoplasms. Dermoscope, both hand-held and videodermoscope, are nowadays a basic instrument for almost all the dermatologists around the world. Trichoscopy is the term coined for dermoscopic imaging of the scalp and hair. Routinely using dermoscopy and recognizing the structures and patterns of the different types of alopecia will likely improve the observer’s sensitivity for diagnosis and follow up of hair and scalp disorders. Structures which may be visualized by trichoscopy include hair shafts of different types, the number of hairs in one pilosebaceous unit, hair follicle openings (dots), the peri and interfollicular areas and the vasculature. This review summarizes the current knowledge about trichoscopic findings which may aid in the diagnosis of alopecia. Besides diagnosing alopecia, it has the potential for obviating unnecessary biopsies and when a biopsy is still needed it is helpful in choosing an ideal biopsy site. Moreover, trichoscopy can be a valuable tool for evaluating the treatment response photographically at each follow-up. Finally, we have discussed the utility of dermoscopy in inflammatory scalp disorders and infections.

Keywords: Alopecia, Dermatosis, Scalp, Dermoscopy, Dermatoscopy, Epiluminiscence microscopy, Diagnosis

Core tip: Trichoscopy refers to the dermoscopy of the hair and scalp disorders. This is a noninvasive, in office technique that can be performed with a hand-held dermatoscope or a digital videodermatoscopy system. Trichoscopy is useful for the diagnosis and follow-up of hair and scalp disorders. In this article, we have briefly described the most important trichoscopic patterns and structures.