Hair Loss

Hair Loss

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Hair grows on our body almost everywhere except for the palms, soles, eyelids, and belly buttons. Hair loss is often known as alopecia or baldness. It is a condition where people experience hair loss either on their heads or body. Hair loss can range in intensity from a specific area to the complete body. 

 

What is Hair Loss?

Hair grows on our body almost everywhere except for the palms, soles, eyelids, and belly buttons. Hair loss is often known as alopecia or baldness. It is a condition where people experience hair loss either on their heads or body. Hair loss can range in intensity from a specific area to the complete body. 

 

What is Hair Loss? || image

What are Types of Hair Loss?

There are many types of hair loss, namely:

  1. Scarring Alopecia - This condition can be caused by inflammatory skin conditions like cellulitis, folliculitis, acne, and other skin disorders like lupus and lichen planus can create scars that inhibit hair growth. Hot combs and hair that is tightly woven and tugged can also result in permanent hair loss.
  2. Involutional Alopecia - It is a naturally occurring phenomenon in which the hair thins with age. The remaining hairs get shorter and decrease in volume as more hair follicles enter the resting phase.
  3. Androgenic Alopecia - It's a hereditary disorder that affects both men and women. Receding hairline and gradual hair loss from the crown and frontal scalp are common symptoms.
  4. Trichotillomania - It is a psychological illness in which a person rips out their hair, and it is most commonly seen in children.
  5. Patchy Hair Loss or Alopecia Areata - In children and young adults, it usually begins abruptly and causes patchy hair loss. This disease can cause total baldness. However, hair regrows in roughly 90% of persons with the disorder after a few years.
  6. Universalis - In this condition, all body hair including eyebrows, eyelashes and pubic hair starts to fall.
  7. Telogen Effluvium - This condition occurs when the changes in the hair growth cycle leads to temporary hair thinning on the scalp. Hair shedding and thinning can occur when a significant number of hairs reach the resting phase.

What are Causes of Hair Loss?

The average person loses 50 to 100 hairs every day. However, as the new hair grows simultaneously with old hair, this often passes unnoticed. Hair loss occurs when the hair that has fallen out is not replaced with new hair. Alopecia or hair loss is usually connected to one or more reasons stated below:

  1. Medical treatment such as chemotherapy for cancer
  2. Medications such as antidepressants, acne medications, birth control pills, etc.   
  3. Hormonal imbalances such as thyroid hormones, during pregnancy, menopause, etc.
  4. Medical disorders such as anaemia, autoimmune disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), etc.
  5. A low-calorie diet, a diet deficient in iron, zinc, protein and some essential fatty acids
  6. Excessive use of hair cosmetics containing harmful chemicals
  7. Frequent hairstyling that pulls on your hair can cause thinning or total hair loss in the affected area.   
  8. Stress and trauma
  9. Radiation and chemotherapies
  10. Inheritance

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What are Symptoms of Hair Loss?

  1. Alopecia or hair loss can manifest in several ways, determined by the cause. It might strike abruptly or gradually, affecting only your scalp or the whole body. Men, women, and children have different hair loss symptoms and conditions. However, people of all ages and genders may notice more hair on their brushes or in the shower drain. Male hair loss and hair diseases can appear in a variety of ways, including:
    1. Hair loss on the scalp
    2. A receding hairline conditions
    3. Horseshoe-shaped design on the crown of the head becomes visible.  
  2. Hair loss and hair diseases in women and children can include:
    1. Hair thinning all over the head, especially at the crown.
    2. Hair falls out in patches, and the entire body's hair falls out.
    3. Patches of broken hair and partial hair loss on the head or other body parts are hair loss symptoms.
    4. Excessive hair shedding occurs after several disorders and pharmacological treatments, sudden weight loss, anemia, or stress, but not complete baldness.   
  3. Hair thinning is the most typical symptom of hair loss, although some people may also have other symptoms such as:
    1. Alopecia areata can cause burning or sting in addition to hair loss.
    2. If the area where you're losing hair itches, burns, or is painful, you may have an infection.
    3. Scaly bald patches with open sores or blisters leaking pus are symptoms of fungal infection on the scalp.
    4. The symptoms of Folliculitis decalvans include redness, swelling, and itchy, pus-dripping sores.
    5. Psoriasis scalp spots - Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects the scalp and can lead to hair loss.

What are Risk Factors of Hair Loss?

Some risk factors include:

  1. Age
  2. Weight loss
  3. Poor Nutrition
  4. Some medical conditions like lupus, autoimmune disease, thyroid etc.
  5. Genetic risk factors
  6. Persistent stress

How is Hair Loss Diagnosed?

Before diagnosing the problem, the specialist will probably perform a clinical examination and inquire about diet, hair care, and any medical or genetic history. There can also be some tests for the diagnosis. Such as: 

  1. Pull test
  2. Blood test
  3. Light microscopy
  4. Scalp biopsy

What are Non Surgical Options for Treating Hair Loss?

In some circumstances, hair loss can be treated appropriately. Hair loss can sometimes be reversed or, at the very least, slowed. In rare cases, such as patchy baldness, also called Alopecia areata, hair may regerminate without any specific treatment after a year. The treatment of hair loss can be done with both medication and surgery.

Medications - Pattern or hereditary baldness can be treated with medications. The following are the most prevalent choices:

  1. Minoxidil
  2. Finasteride
  3. Other medications such as Spironolactone and Oral Dutasteride

When to Consult the Doctor?

It is advisable to consult a medical professional if:

  1. You're experiencing a receding hairline
  2. You're worried about hair loss in yourself or your children and opt to seek medical advice.
  3. If you notice sudden or uneven hair loss or more than average hair loss when combing or washing your hair.
  4. Abrupt or sudden hair loss could signify a significant medical problem that requires treatment.

Reviewer

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More

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Kirti V

Kirti V

B.A. English | M.A. English ( Magadh University, Bihar)

3 Years Experience

With 3 years of full-time experience as an SEO content writer, she has honed her skills to deliver captivating and persuasive writing that leaves a lasting impact. She is always ready to learn new things and expand...View More

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