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Hair Loss


Hair Loss: Information and Treatment Options

As men and women get older, they can experience hair loss due to genetics, medications, illness, poor nutrition, and other environmental factors. In fact, more than 50 percent of the population will have issues with hair loss before they reach the age of 50. Its normal for a person to lose 50-100 hairs per day, however some people suffer from hair loss that causes bald patches and thinning. Many of these people can benefit from medications or other hair restoration treatments.

While hair loss is not a serious medical condition, it can affect confidence and self-esteem. In some cases, hair loss can causes anxiety, distress, and depression. The good news is that there are treatment options that can slow the progression of hair loss. In some instances, people can even regrow lost hair.

 

Propecia

Propecia can help men suffering from hair loss on the crown and front of the head. It prevents hair loss and stimulates new hair growth for some men.

 

Finasteride

Finasteride is the generic form of Propecia, so it can be a more affordable solution for men suffering from male pattern baldness. It is also an effective treatment for an enlarged prostate.

 

Hair Loss Symptoms

The specific symptoms of hair loss depend on the type of condition you have. Hair loss can occur rapidly, slowly, on the entire head, or fall out in patches. Hair loss can be temporary or permanent.

 

Symptoms of hair loss include:

Gradually thinning hair. Both men and women can experience gradual hair loss. In men, hair loss usually starts at the front hairline and slowly recedes backwards, forming an M shape. For women, hair loss usually does not affect the hairline. Most women experience thinning throughout the top of the head.

Suddenly losing hair. When people experience severe physical or emotional stress, it can cause sudden hair loss that occurs rapidly. In this case, hair usually falls out in large clumps when its washed, brushed, or combed.

Hair loss on the body. Certain medical conditions and treatments, like chemotherapy, can cause full-body hair loss.

 

Hair Loss Causes

There are many causes of hair loss, but the most common is androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. This is a hereditary condition related to hormones that causes hair follicles to shrink. As a result, new hairs become thin and short. After some time, the follicles can no longer support hairs, so there is no new hair growth in the affected areas.

Other factors that cause hair loss include: Poor quality nutrition.
Medical conditions and treatments.
Physical and emotional stress.
Hormonal changes and thyroid problems.
Damage from hairstyles, treatments, and dyes.

The second most common type of hair loss is called Telogen Effluvium. This condition occurs when the normal hair regrowth cycle is disrupted by extreme physical or emotional stress. Typical causes include eating disorders, high fever, childbirth, severe illness, surgery, anemia, and emotional disorders. This type of hair loss is characterized by overall thinning of hair on the scalp. Once the cause of the physical or emotional stress is removed, hair will start growing normally again.

Another type of hair loss is called Alopecia Areata, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack hair follicles. As a result, bald patches will appear on the head, beard, and eyebrows. Once the condition is treated, hair will start to grow normally again. Usually the condition will resolve on its own after several years, even without treatment. However, in rare but extreme cases, the condition can cause patients to lose all the hair on their head, face and body.

People who are experiencing any symptoms of hair loss should contact their doctor for diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing pain and itching on the scalp, talk to your doctor.

 

Hair Loss Diagnosis

If you are experiencing hair loss, your doctor will examine you and take your complete medical history to determine the cause of your hair loss. Usually, examining the hair loss pattern and looking for other accompanying symptoms can allow your physician to make a diagnosis. Doctors can usually identify androgenic alopecia based on the hair loss pattern alone.

Since hair loss can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, your doctor might run a blood test or a skin biopsy to rule out other medical disorders. This is particularly true for patients who are losing hair in clumps or if you have other symptoms including pain, redness, or itching.

 

Hair Loss Treatments

Your treatment options for hair loss will depend on your diagnosis. If your hair loss is caused by a medical condition, your hair will start to grow again as soon as youve been treated. If you are suffering from hereditary hair loss, there are medications and surgeries that can prevent future hair loss and potentially restore your hair.

One medication used to treat androgenic alopecia is called Propecia. It works by counteracting the hormonal changes that cause hair loss in men, so it slows the progression. In some cases, Propecia can actually help men regrow some lost hair. It is the only medication approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness.

Other treatment options include wigs and hairpieces, which can be used to cover hair loss. Men often choose to shave their heads because it gives them an attractive and confident appearance.

 

Surgical Hair Restoration

Some men choose to get hair transplant surgery to replace lost hair. Hair restoration surgery involves moving small plugs of skin to the bald areas of the scalp. The skin is typically taken from the back of the head. Patients must return for more treatments as hair loss progresses, but surgical hair restoration is an effective and permanent treatment for hair loss.

Another option is scalp reduction surgery, where a piece of the scalp is completely removed and replaced with a portion of the scalp that still has hair. Alternatively, doctors can also choose to simply cover bald patches with areas of the scalp that contain hair.

The main downside to surgical hair restoration is that it can be very expensive and painful. There are also risks associated with hair transplant surgery, including infection and permanent scarring. If youre interested in hair restoration surgery, contact your doctor for a consultation.

 

Hair Loss and Your Health

If you are experiencing sudden or unusual hair loss, make an appointment with your doctor. There are many causes of hair loss, including hormonal changes, thyroid issues, and medications. If you think one of your medications might be causing your hair loss, talk to your doctor about alternative treatment options.

Rapid or excessive weight loss, anemia, poor nutrition, and high levels of stress can cause hair loss. To maintain healthy hair, try to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables. Take appropriate steps to manage stress effectively and be sure to get plenty of rest.

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