Hypotrichosis is the medical term used to describe a form of balding where -instead of hair loss – hair has never grown in that certain area. People who suffer from this condition are actually born with it. Therefore, they will not grow hair in those specific areas for their entire lives.
Most forms of this condition are from genetic aberrations or some kind of defect in the development of the embryo. Quite often the affected persons will also be afflicted with other physical or mental conditions besides this lack of hair.
Scientists are continuing to greatly improve their knowledge and understanding of the human genome. They are therefore learning even more about the “why and how” of genetic defects, including those that cause hair loss. But even though we understand more now about the biochemistry involved in hypotrichosis, we still have not found the cure for this condition.
Here are a few of the more common forms of this condition:
Also called aplasia cutis congenita, this is a developmental defect where, for reasons unknown, the skin does not completely generate as the embryo goes through development. The baby is typically born with an open wound at or near the back of the scalp. In the best case scenarios, the wound is small and will just scab over and leave a small scar.
Most times this takes place in the womb. At birth all that can be seen is a small patch on the scalp that has no hair. Sometimes the baby can be born with a larger type of this condition and will require surgery. This is, of course, done with some urgency to avoid excessive bleeding or possible infections. The faster this condition heals, the better.
Alopecia triangularis is another congenital condition that is apparent at birth and typically affects a patch of hair that is shaped like a triangle and is usually found directly above the temples. It is still unknown why this condition will affect people by not growing hair in this specific pattern and area. It can be treated with surgery, either to remove this area of skin and suture it closed, leaving a small scar, or with a hair transplant to fill in those areas with hair.
Also known as popular atrichia, this condition is very unique as far as hair loss pattern. This is the very first hair loss disease in humans that scientists were able to determine is caused by a single gene defect. People that are born with this condition can actually have a full head of hair at birth. As they reach early childhood though, they lose all of their hair, and it will never regrow.