I have long wanted to be able to share with patients what I am seeing when I examine their scalp and hair with my dermatoscope, a fancy magnifying device with posh polarising lights. Seeing the hairs when blown up on a screen and appreciating the variation and arrangement of hairs can help explain the diagnosis and the possible treatment options. The problem was how to do this in a clinic setting. Taking pictures with a dermatoscope is fiddly and sharing on a small screen is awkward. Plug in USB microscopes are ok but don’t really have the right lights or connections. There has been an answer for a number of years but it came at a cost that put me off. However, I have bitten the bullet and decided the tech is worth the cost and I really believe this will benefit my patients and enhance my practice. This solution is the world leading Medicam from Fotofinder.

With this device one can see hairs from 20x to 140x magnification. It can be linked to the international Tricholab to get reports on numbers of hair, hair thickness, number of hairs per follicular unit and more – think of this as the equivalent of a blood test or a biopsy. Following a set protocol of photos one can get a really useful report into the state of your hairs, particular useful for diffuse and pattern thinning pre and during treatment. To see an example of a report : TrichoLAB_report_16_07_2020_58636.

I will be using the machine for every day practice and offering Tricholab reports as an additional extra. I hope in the near future to be able to offer this test a week ahead of the first consultant appointment, so that we can have a more meaningful discussion about the problem and get straight onto treatment.