Alopecia Nursing Diagnosis and Care Plan

NANDA Definition: Alopecia refers to the partial or complete loss of hair from areas where it normally grows. It can occur on the scalp or other parts of the body and may be temporary or permanent.

Defining Characteristics:

  1. Patchy or complete hair loss
  2. Absence of hair follicles
  3. Bald spots or thinning areas
  4. Scalp irritation or itching


  • Client reports hair loss in specific areas
  • Client expresses concern or distress about hair loss
  • Client experiences changes in self-esteem or body image due to hair loss


  • Visible hair loss or thinning areas on the scalp or body
  • Absence of hair follicles in affected areas
  • Scalp redness or irritation
  • Presence of hair strands on pillow, comb, or clothing
  1. Genetic predisposition
  2. Autoimmune disorders (e.g., alopecia areata)
  3. Hormonal imbalances (e.g., thyroid dysfunction)
  4. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  5. Nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iron, zinc)
  6. Stress or emotional trauma
  7. Scalp infections or skin disorders (e.g., dermatitis)

Risk Population:

  • Individuals with a family history of alopecia
  • Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Those with autoimmune disorders
  • People experiencing significant stress or emotional trauma

Associated Problems:

  1. Altered body image
  2. Low self-esteem
  3. Depression or anxiety
  4. Social isolation or withdrawal
  5. Impaired skin integrity (if scalp irritation is present)

Suggestions for Use:

  1. Assess the client’s perception of hair loss and its impact on self-image.
  2. Perform a thorough physical examination to determine the extent and characteristics of the hair loss.
  3. Evaluate potential underlying causes or risk factors contributing to alopecia.
  4. Provide emotional support and counseling to address body image issues and psychological distress.
  5. Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop a holistic treatment plan.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses:

  1. Disturbed Body Image
  2. Risk for Disturbed Self-Concept
  3. Impaired Skin Integrity
  4. Disturbed Sleep Pattern

Usage Tips:

  • Obtain a detailed medical history to identify any potential underlying causes of alopecia.
  • Collaborate with dermatologists or other specialists for further evaluation and management.
  • Educate the client about available treatment options and supportive care measures.
  • Encourage the client to seek support from support groups or counseling services.

NOC Results (Nursing Outcomes Classification):

  1. Body Image
  2. Coping
  3. Emotional Support
  4. Self-Esteem

NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification):

  1. Emotional Support
  2. Body Image Enhancement
  3. Coping Enhancement
  4. Health Education

Nursing Test Questions on Alocepia

Question 1: Which of the following is a common cause of alopecia?

a) Genetic predisposition

b) Nutritional deficiencies

c) Thyroid dysfunction

d) All of the above

Answer: d) All of the above

Rationale: Alopecia can be caused by various factors, including genetic predisposition, nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iron, zinc), and thyroid dysfunction. It is essential for nurses to understand the multiple potential causes of alopecia to provide appropriate care and interventions for patients.

Question 2: A client with alopecia expresses concerns about self-image and low self-esteem. Which nursing diagnosis is most appropriate for this client?

a) Impaired Skin Integrity

b) Altered Body Image

c) Disturbed Sleep Pattern

d) Risk for Infection

Answer: b) Altered Body Image

Rationale: Altered Body Image is the most appropriate nursing diagnosis for a client with concerns about self-image and low self-esteem due to alopecia. This diagnosis acknowledges the psychological impact of hair loss and allows nurses to address the client’s emotional well-being.

Question 3: Which intervention is most effective in promoting coping for a client with alopecia?

a) Providing a wig or head covering

b) Prescribing topical corticosteroids

c) Administering iron and zinc supplements

d) Referring the client for psychotherapy

Answer: d) Referring the client for psychotherapy

Rationale: Referring the client for psychotherapy is the most effective intervention for promoting coping in a client with alopecia. Psychotherapy can provide a safe space for the client to explore and address the emotional impact of hair loss, improve self-esteem, and develop effective coping strategies.

Question 4: A client with alopecia areata asks the nurse about the possibility of hair regrowth. Which response by the nurse is most accurate?

a) “Hair regrowth is unlikely in cases of alopecia areata.”

b) “Hair regrowth is possible but may take several months to occur.”

c) “Hair regrowth can be achieved through daily scalp massage.”

d) “Hair regrowth is guaranteed with the use of over-the-counter hair growth products.”

Answer: b) “Hair regrowth is possible but may take several months to occur.”

Rationale: Hair regrowth is possible in cases of alopecia areata, but the process can take several months. It is important for the nurse to provide accurate information and manage the client’s expectations regarding the timeline for regrowth.

Question 5: Which laboratory test is most relevant when assessing a client with alopecia for nutritional deficiencies?

a) Complete blood count (CBC)

b) Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level

c) Liver function tests (LFTs)

d) Serum iron and zinc levels

Answer: d) Serum iron and zinc levels

Rationale: When assessing a client with alopecia for nutritional deficiencies, checking serum iron and zinc levels is most relevant. Deficiencies in these minerals can contribute to hair loss, and assessing their levels can help determine appropriate interventions such as supplementation or dietary modifications.


Ackley, B. J., Ladwig, G. B., Makic, M. B., Martinez-Kratz, M. R., & Zanotti, M. (2020). Nursing diagnoses handbook: An evidence-based guide to planning care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. 

Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2022). Nursing care plans: Diagnoses, interventions, & outcomes. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Ignatavicius, D. D., Workman, M. L., Rebar, C. R., & Heimgartner, N. M. (2020). Medical-surgical nursing: Concepts for interprofessional collaborative care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. 

Silvestri, L. A. (2020). Saunders comprehensive review for the NCLEX-RN examination. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. 

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This information is intended to be nursing education and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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