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Balding, with no growth? It could be Monilethrix. What it is and how to treat it!






Monilethrix is a rare disorder that affects hair growth. The hair looks brittle, and dry and breaks easily, forming beaded or moniliform nodules along the hair shaft. The nodules give the hair a beaded appearance, hence the name "monilethrix" which means "beaded hair" in Greek.


The condition is caused by mutations in the genes that give instructions for making proteins that are important for hair growth and maintenance. Monilethrix can be inherited in an autosomal dominant or recessive pattern, meaning that an affected person can pass the condition on to their children.







Monilethrix is caused by mutations in genes that provide instructions for making hair-related proteins. mutations in the genes that code for keratin proteins, which are structural proteins that give hair its strength and elasticity, can lead to the development of the Monilethrix.







Several genes have been known to play a role in Monilethrix, including KRT81, KRT83, and KRT86.



KRT86 is a gene that provides instructions for making a protein called keratin 86. Keratin 86 is a structural protein that is primarily found in the hair follicles, which contributes to the strength and elasticity of the hair shaft.


Keratin 86 is one of several keratin proteins that are important for hair structure and function. It interacts with other keratin proteins, as well as other structural proteins such as collagen, to provide structural support and protect the hair from damage.


KRT83 Keratin 83 is a structural protein that is primarily found in the hair follicles, which contributes to the strength and elasticity of the hair shaft.


Keratin 83 is one of several keratin proteins that are important for hair structure and function. It interacts with other keratin proteins, as well as other structural proteins such as collagen, to provide structural support and protect the hair from damage. Mutations in the KRT83 gene can disrupt the normal function of keratin 83, leading to the abnormal hair growth seen in Monilethrix.


KRT81 Mutations in the KRT81 gene have been associated with the development of Monilethrix, a rare genetic disorder that affects hair growth and results in hair that is brittle, dry, and breaks easily, forming beaded or moniliform nodules along the hair shaft (single-strand knots).


Keratin 81 is one of several keratin proteins that are important for hair structure and function. It interacts with other keratin proteins, as well as other structural proteins such as collagen, to provide structural support and protect the hair from damage.


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The main symptom of Monilethrix is abnormal hair growth that is characterized by the following features:

  1. Beaded hair: The hair appears to have nodes or beads along the shaft, which are areas of hair that are weakened and prone to breaking.

  2. Brittle hair: The hair is dry, fragile, and easily broken, especially at the nodules.

  3. Short hair: The hair may be shorter than normal, as the hair shafts tend to break off easily.

  4. Patchy hair loss: In severe cases, hair loss may occur in patches, leading to bald spots.

  5. Scalp irritation: The scalp may be itchy or irritated due to abnormal hair growth.

The symptoms of a Monilethrix can be different in severity from person to person. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild and only affect a small area of the scalp. In other cases, the symptoms may be more widespread and severe.





Monilethrix is not contagious. It is not caused by any infectious agent, and it cannot be spread from person to person through contact, air, or any other means of transmission.

It is important to note that not all cases of Monilethrix are inherited, as some cases may be caused by spontaneous mutations that occur during development.




While there is currently no cure for Monilethrix, there are treatments available to manage the symptoms.

One of the most common treatments for Monilethrix is hair care, which involves careful washing, conditioning, and styling of the hair.





This can help to prevent breakage and damage to the hair.

In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help manage the symptoms of the Monilethrix. For example, retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A, may be used to improve the health of hair follicles.



Ongoing research is being conducted to better understand the disorder and to develop new treatments. In the meantime, people with Monilethrix need to work closely with their healthcare provider to manage their symptoms and to develop a hair care routine that works best for them.

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