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Clinical Examination

Wood’s lamp: It is a mercury vapour ultraviolet lamp with an incorporated Wood’s filter (Barium silicate glass with 9% nickel oxide) that is opaque to all wavelengths except those between 320 and 400 nm. 360nm wavelength is emitted by the lamp.


It is an important investigative tool in diagnosis of many hair and skin disorders.


With the help of this lamp we can differentiate scalp skin type. Hairs infected by certain dermatophytes produce a characteristic fluorescence like green, yellow etc.


Oily skin—orange dots

Dry skin --- white dots.

Tinea capitis ---- green dots.

Pityriasis versicolor --- yellow fluorescence


Daily hair counts: Normal loss-50-100. If the loss is 100 or more than 100 it indicates pathological hairloss, e.g.- telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia.


Hair pull test: Hair in the telogen phase is easily extracted as compared to those in the anagen phase. About 60 hairs are pulled with constant traction and the bulbs of extracted hairs examined.

The numbers of club hair or hairs in telogen phase are counted and expressed as % of total hair pulled. 7% telogen frequency is normal. >10% indicate telogen effluvium.


Feathering Test: It is done to assess the brittle nature of hair shafts. It is useful in patients with complaints of decreased hair growth or easily broken hair. The test helps in detecting abnormal hair fragility and hair shaft breakage.


In this test, the distal 2-3cm of the hairs in the involved areas are grasped between the thumb and the index finger and pulled. The hair shafts held are then checked for short broken fragments.


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