Psychotrichological approach in the management of patients with hair diseases


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Psychotrichology should be seen as a separate direction of modern medicine, as well as a concept applicable to all trichology. In a broader sense, the psychotrichological approach encompasses all hair disorders, as each of these conditions can affect mental and emotional balance.

The discrepancy between the clinical severity of alopecia and the impact of the disease on quality of life (QL) has been reliably proven in patients with certain types of hair loss. The suffering of some patients may be comparable to that of life-threatening illness, and such a response to prior hair loss may contribute to the persistence or worsen the hair disease and create a self-replicating vicious circle.

The high prevalence of primary psychopathology and secondary psychocomorbidity in the trichological consultation makes the management of such “difficult” patients a real challenge. Regardless of the time of psychological disturbances in patients with alopecia (before or after hair loss), the patient is both balding and experiencing psychological difficulties.

These findings provide a rationale for studying the mental component associated with trichological manifestations and assessing QL as an integral index, describing a multidimensional analysis of changes in a functioning, as both a criterion for choosing therapy and as evaluation of its effectiveness.

Such a strategy is aimed at understanding the complex picture of the disease, as well as improving the QL which must be the main therapeutic goal. Intensity of tension experienced by the patient should be part of the equation when physician decides how aggressively to treat the hair disease.