The study of hair is slowly gaining respectability. Recent advances in basic anatomy by Montagna, studies of telogen effluvium by Kligman, of exchange transplantations by Orentreich, of toxic effects of antimetabolites by Van Scott, of an unusual type of diffuse alopecia in women by Sulzberger and others—all these and more bespeak a revival of interest in the age-old problem of growth and development of human hair. In the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology, Muller and Winkelmann1 have reviewed alopecia areata—a subject mostly of cosmetic interest heretofore—by evaluating 736 cases seen in 10 years at the Mayo Clinic.
The common form of alopecia areata is the isolated, asymptomatic loss of hair from a circumscribed plaque, usually on the scalp, with regrowth in a few months. This benign form (partialis) may progress to total loss of hair from the scalp and other sites (totalis). Rather frequently, particularly in severe