Charlotte LaSenna, MD
Position title: Assistant Professor
Charlotte LaSenna, MD, joined the UW-Madison Department of Dermatology team in August 2021 as both a dermatologist and dermatopathologist.
Dr. LaSenna’s clinical interest is in treating all types of hair loss (alopecia), bringing much-needed expertise in this area to the state of Wisconsin. Her interest in alopecia arose during medical school during her research fellowship in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine under Drs. Antonella Tosti, Mariya Miteva, and Paolo Romanelli. During this time, she was introduced to the spectrum of hair loss disorders, including autoimmune forms of hair loss such as alopecia areata, non-scarring forms of alopecia such as androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium, and scarring forms of alopecia such as frontal fibrosing alopecia, lichen planopilaris, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, and folliculitis decalvans. During this time, she observed the management of these conditions in clinic, was introduced to the assessment of scalp biopsies under the microscope, and collaborated on research projects focused on further understanding these disease processes.
In Dermatology residency and Dermatopathology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. LaSenna continued to learn more and took an active role in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of hair loss disorders under the guidance and mentorship of Drs. Wilma Bergfeld and Melissa Piliang. During this time, she also became proficient in the assessment of scalp biopsies under the microscope to assist in clinical-pathologic correlation and narrowing diagnosis.
Dr. LaSenna highly values a strong professional network, mentorship, and education. In 2022, she received an American Hair Research Society Mentorship Grant to spend time with Dr. Maria Hordinsky at the University of Minnesota to focus on further development of her alopecia specialty clinic. Dr. LaSenna is the chair of the editorial committee of the Scarring Alopecia Foundation (SAF) where she oversees the development of more accessible educational material for patients with all forms of scarring alopecia.
In Madison, Dr. LaSenna looks forward to giving back in mentorship to residents and students who are interested in learning more about alopecia. She also looks forward to contributing to research and clinical studies to further investigate treatment options for patients affected by hair loss disorders.
Why did you decide to study medicine?
I have always been academically driven. I feel that as a physician, I can use what I have learned over many years of study to help others while also continuing to learn from and collaborate with my colleagues in the medical community.
Favorite memory from medical school?
After my first year of medical school, I had the opportunity to participate in a student exchange program that allowed me to spend a month in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pisa in Italy. As an undergraduate, I studied Italian language and spent a semester abroad in Milan, Italy, so I was very eager to return and never dreamed it would be possible in medical school. My time in Pisa was, hands down, the most impactful experience I had as a medical student. Not only did it introduce me to the breadth of the field of Dermatology, but the mentoring and support I received as a result shaped my trajectory and ultimately inspired me to pursue a career in Dermatology.
What drives your patient care?
My patients affected by alopecia often come to me with varied levels of distress not only because of the hair loss but also because their symptoms have gone unrecognized or unacknowledged. Hair loss disorders have only recently begun to gain recognition as more than a cosmetic problem, but there is still more work to be done to bring awareness to this fact. In my clinic, I like to create a space for patients to feel heard and validated in what they have observed. Even with the time constraints of our busy clinics, I enjoy taking the time to connect with my patients and instill confidence that there are treatment options available. Not all treatments work for everyone, but my goal is to work with my patients to come up with a plan that works for them. When I can make a positive impact on someone’s life, that is when I feel most fulfilled in the work that I do.
Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
Doctor of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
Dermatopathology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
Dermatology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
Internal Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
Alopecia and Dermatopathology with Dr. Paolo Romanelli, Dr. Antonella Tosti and Dr. Mariya Miteva, Department of Dermatology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
American Board of Dermatology, 2020
Area of Interest
American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP)
Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS)
American Hair Research Society (AHRS)
Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation (CARF)
Khanna U, Semsarzadeh N, LaSenna C, Ellis A, Galadari A, Fernandez AP. Disseminated discoid lupus erythematosus mimicking Degos disease. Australas J Dermatol. 2020 Feb;61(1):e114-e116. PMID: 31429927.
Billero VL, LaSenna CE, Romanelli M, Giubellino A, Brenes RA, Romanelli P. Primary Cutaneous Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma Presenting as Chronic Non-healing Ulcer. Int Wound J. 2017. PMID 28116782.
LaSenna CE, Miteva M. CME: Special stains and Immunohistochemical stains in hair pathology. Am J Dermatopathol. 2016;1(2):91-4. PMID: 27170940.
LaSenna CE, Miteva M, Tosti A. Pitfalls in the diagnosis of kerion. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016;30(3):515-517. PMID: 25490930.
Lee E, Zarei M, LaSenna CE, Villada G, Romanelli P. Psoriasis Targeted Therapy: Characterization of Interleukin 17 Expression in Subtypes of Psoriasis. J Drug Dermatol. 2015;14(10):1133-6. PMID: 26461825.
LaSenna CE, Tosti A. Patient considerations in the management of toe onychomycosis – role of efinaconazole. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2015; 9:887-891. PMID: 26170638.
Angra K, LaSenna CE, Nichols AJ, Tosti A. Hair Dye, a Trichoscopy Pitfall. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015;72: e101-e102. PMID: 25773426.
LaSenna CE, Maderal AD. Make the Diagnosis: Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma). Dermatology News. June 2015.
Mattos Simoes Medonca M, LaSenna C, Tosti A. Severe Onychodystrophy due to Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Acrylic Nails. Skin Append Disord. 2015; 1(2):91-94. PMID: 27170940.
LaSenna CE, Romanelli P. The role of the dermatopathologist in Pediatric wounds. J Wound Technol. 2014; (22).