Hair loss is not just physical but takes an emotional toll on both men and women. For men, 25% will see the first signs of hair loss in their 20’s and by your 50’s an estimated 85% will have noticeable hair loss. This might not be as obvious as an issue for women but according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 40% of women will have some visible hair loss by their 40’s. Medical treatment is available for hair loss and if you’re noticing abnormal shedding, thinning or bald patches, it’s time to see your dermatologist.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF HAIR LOSS?
The most common form is called androgenic alopecia or male, female pattern baldness. Hormones called androgens present in both males and females that are responsible for regulating hair growth change such as androgen overproduction. Because of this, the hair growth cycle begins to weaken, and the hair follicle shrinks producing finer strands until eventually, no new hair grows in its place. Genetics plays a role, and this is an inherited condition. Other factors include stress, medications, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal changes, thyroid disease, and anemia. Even some hairstyles like tightly pulled back braids or cornrows can contribute.
Another form of hair loss that happens suddenly where one or more circular bald patches occur. This is an autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks the hair follicle. Severe stress can be a factor and treatment can help but there is no cure. More than 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year.
Is when excessive shedding of the hair happens due to a stressful event. Stress pushes a large number of hairs into a resting phase. There are other causes besides stress like poor diet, weight loss, menopause, certain drugs or underlying health conditions. To better understand how your hair grows, Hair growth is divided into three cycles:
- Anagen the growth phase.
- Catagen the transitional phase.
- Telogen the resting phase.
It’s hard to determine when your hair cycle will return to normal, but the good news is Telogen Effluvium is reversible. Some additional symptoms include itchiness and stinging so be sure to let our medical provider know all your symptoms.
TYPES OF TREATMENT
Treatment for hair loss takes patience. There is no one size fits all treatment plan, unfortunately. Different types of hair loss respond differently. Keeping regular office visits as recommended by your medical provider will help with monitoring your results and keep you motivated. Most patients will need to have a blood work up to help determine the underlying cause or as part of the treatment plan. Medications like spironolactone do require ongoing lab work.
- Steroid injections
- Vasodilator like Minoxidil
- Immunosuppressive medication
ANDROGENIC ALOPECIA (PATTERN BALDNESS)
- Vasodilator like Minoxidil or Rogaine.
- Finasteride or Propecia for men.
- Spironolactone for women
There are other types of treatments and specialty products that might help in addition to a medically supervised treatment plan.
READY TO EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS?
Early diagnosis and treatment are key to slowing down or possibly stopping the process while understanding how to manage the problem with our dermatologist’s help. If you’ve noticed more hair in your brush, the bathtub, now would be the time to come see us. The immune system attacks the hair follicle. Severe stress can be a factor and treatment can help but there is no cure. More than 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year.