Hair follicle as early marker of diabetes?
What is it about?
In earlier stages of the continuum of DM2-related metabolic disorders, a group of susceptible patients who do not yet meet the diagnostic criteria to be considered as persons with DM2 may present chronic vascular impairment and end organ damage. This can be evaluated to identify an early risk marker. Our hypothesis is that dysglycemic states produce vascular impairment resulting in early manifestations of injury in the hair follicle even before a DM2/prediabetes diagnosis can be made, reflected in changes in the hair characteristics: either the number of hairs/cm2, linear hair growth, percentage of anagen bulbs, hair diameter, or time to hair regrowth after teloptosis.
Why is it important?
Hair follicle manifestations of vascular impairment can be translated to an objective, simple, low-cost, minimally- or non-invasive evaluation of hyperglycemia damage providing a novel, cheap and easy-to-use tool to evaluate glycemic susceptibility and organ damage in patients before the DM2/prediabetes diagnosis can be made. If this tool is based on skin photographs, it opens the possibility of the implementation of teledermatology. This approach is especially important in geographically or economically disadvantaged populations with limited access to health services.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Jose Carlos Tapia