20yrs old, I've been losing my hair on and off for 2 years. Is this CTE or androgenic alopecia? (photo)

I have significant thinning on temples and sides of my hair with my middle part being normal. Visited a dermatologist 2 yaers back and was put on iron which helped to some extent. Now visited another dermatologist and he said its androgenic alopecia without even checking my scalp. I am somewhat not satisfied with the diagnosis. Can you help? Attaching a photograph i found of CTE that matches my condition perfectly.

Doctor Answers 5

CTE or AGA - 20 F

A photo of someone else's scalp won't help. There are so many hair loss conditions that look identical. Absolutely the same. What is needed is a full story of your hair loss, up close exam and review of your blood tests. 


CTE does not occur very often in 20 year olds. The chances of CTE are slim....and AGA is rare with a completely normal central part. What is your most likely diagnosis? Either acute telogen effluvium or normal female reshaping of the frontal hairline - or both. But see a dermatologist for evaluation and confirmation. A biopsy of the temples is often very challenging, very inaccurate and very misleading.  

Losing Hair At Temples

This can certainly be be androgenic alopecia, but can certainly be something else.  A biopsy could help confirm the diagnosis and is very easy to obtain.  I agree with your concern.  It is hard to have a definitive treatment plan if you are uncertain of the diagnosis.  Because most hair loss problems are progressive I would seek immediate care from an expert in hair loss and treatment and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Ryan Welter, MD
Boston Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Getting to the Bottom of It--Seeking Hair Loss Treatment: PRP and Progesterone

I suggest seeing a hair loss expert to evaluate and go over your condition and provide you information about your best treatment options. There are great non-invasive options like PRP/progesterone and/or hair transplantation. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

Hair thinning

your best bet is to have a consultation with a hair restoration surgeon who can evaluate your scalp and hair, as well as discuss with you the options you have available. Without knowing more of your history and shedding patterns, as well as lab work, making the diagnosis of CTE based on a photograph is impossible. 

Rae Lynne Kinler, MD
Chicago Physician

20 years old and losing hair

Your biggest enemy is the progressive thinning leading to a balding pattern that is not evident at this point in time. The degree of thinning that you are experiencing would suggest that you should see a doctor who most likely will get Bulk Measurements of your hair to determine the degree of the thinning that you are presently having. If the diagnosis is early genetic hair loss (the most common cause of hair loss in young men), then the best treatment would be the drug finasteride which is highly effective in men of your age and may not only stop the hair loss but possibly reverse it. If you are developing a more advanced balding pattern the HAIRCHECK test will determine the Bulk Measurements of your hair and put a number on that hair loss (a metric) and this will show, over a one-year time frame, how effective the treatment will be. Once you know this information, then you and your doctor need to develop a MASTER PLAN which will define what you need to do over the years to come.

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.