Scalp Health: Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia

Scalp Health: Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia

I have always had healthy hair, even while relaxed. About 20 years ago I noticed I started having issues with my scalp. My stylist at the time mentioned I had a red "pimple" and to keep an eye on it. I didn't burn while getting relaxed unless I made the fatal mistake of scratching before YIKES so that wasn't the cause. I didn't think much about it. Over the years the "pimples" and inflammation increased (see photo) and became painful and sore to the touch. I went to so many doctors to figure out what was going on. To make a very long story short, I found a black dermatologist who specializes in Scalp health. She examined my scalp due to the inflammation and the area of my scalp,(crown) she was sure I had Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia. But couldn't be sure until I had a biopsy of my scalp. This was right before the Pandemic I made an appointment and had to cancel. Never rescheduled due to the pandemic. 


CCCA is most common in African American women and is the primary scarring alopecia for African American women. CCCA is characterized by both the destruction and replacement of the hair follicles with fibrous tissue. CCCA is also characterized by hair loss which starts at the top of the head and gradually progresses in a Centrifugal pattern. It seems to affect middle-aged AAW women. There may be no symptoms others like me have painful "pimples" tender scalp and itching. There are several treatments topical steroids, oral steroids antibiotics, etc.


I have experienced hair loss on my crown; when my hair was long I could hide it better. Now that I have about an inch or less it's a bit more apparent. It has been a long road but I am hoping to end this with treatment. I wanted to share my story to help others and reiterate the importance of doctors that know black skin. Our skin issues are very different from other groups and if not treated correctly, even a doctor can cause more trauma if not knowledgeable about black skin. If you need a dermatologist, check out The Black Derm Directory.

If you live in the DMV area check out Dr. Chesahna Kindred-Weaver


I will keep you guys posted! I plan to share more of my experiences on my dermatology journey. Do you have any scalp issues? Have you ever heard of CCCA? Please share!

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