This comparatively rare affection of the hair may manifest itself by extreme fragility; the hair splitting up into few or many filaments or simply becoming brittle and breaking off from ordinary handling, such as combing or brushing. It usually involves the female scalp but may affect the hair of either sex on any part of the body. More often the free end of the hair is affected when it is apt to curl on itself, the broken ends having a grayish or dusty appearance. Only a few hairs, or many, may be attacked and there often coexists a swelling of the hair known as trichorrhexis nodosa.
Etiology and Pathology. This condition of the scalp may be associated with favus, eczema and seborrhea, depend on some nutritional disorder, or may exhibit no apparent cause. Pathologically, the changes consist of fissures and an irregularity in the shape of the shaft. The hair-bulb or root may be normal or shrunken and show evidence of the beginning of the disease in that portion.
Prognosis and Treatment. The chances of a cure are good if the patient will persist with the treatment. General physiological or causal methods, plus simple hygiene of the scalp, are indicated. The split ends may be cut off or, if the hair is involved near the scalp, shaving is preferable. Simple stimulating lotions and ointments and the X-rays may be necessary, and much benefit will be derived from the use of such remedies as Calcarea fluo., C. phos., and Fluoric acid.