These days hair loss has become a problem for both men and women. Hair loss can be because of heredity and various other factors. Sometimes hair loss is sudden and sometimes it may be very slow like a gradual process. As soon as you notice abrupt increases in hair fall consult with your doctor. As your doctor can determine the underlying cause of your hair loss and suggest an appropriate treatment option.
What is hair loss?
Hair loss can cause psychological distress in both men and women. Hair fall is also known as alopecia or balding. It is a condition in which you lose hairs from part of your head. Adults have around 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on their head. If you are losing about 100 hairs per day, it is normal but more than that is not normal.
Hair loss can be because of your genes and hormones. So if you are from a family which has a tendency of hair fall, you are at a higher risk of experiencing the same condition. Unlike men, hair fall in women does not result in a receding hairline. Hair loss in women usually causes gaps between hairs and results in really thin hairs.
Type of Hair Loss
There are various types of hair fall including
Atopic type of hair loss
Some of the common skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, ringworm, and cradle cap also cause hair loss. Cradle cap is more common in infants which usually resolve in few months on its own. Ringworm is a fungal infection which is highly contagious. Ringworm may spread through direct contact, sharing comb, brush, hat, pillow, etc. It causes hair to fall or broken hair. It is recommended to treat the ringworm as soon as it appears. Atopic dermatitis which is commonly known as eczema can cause hair fall. By treating these atopic conditions, you may control or reverse hair fall.
Autoimmune type of hair loss
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease which causes hair loss on the scalp, face, and other parts of the body. The disease can affect people of all ages. Because of alopecia areata, hairs fall out in small patches which initially remain unnoticeable. Eventually, these small patches connect and become noticeable. It is an autoimmune disease which develops when the immune system attacks hair follicles mistakenly. The disease may cause sudden hair to fall on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, face, and other parts of the body. Alopecia areata can also take years to develop. The condition can cause total hair fall which is known as alopecia universalize. It can also prevent the hairs from growing back.
Scarring alopecia, also known as cicatricial alopecia, refers to the hair loss that is characterized by scarring. This is in contrast to non-scarring hair loss. This type of hair loss can occur due to a group of certain rare disorders with idiopathic causes that damage the hair follicle and replaces it with scar tissue leading to a permanent hair fall. In certain cases of scarring alopecia, hair loss is progressive, without any symptoms, and goes unnoticed for a long time. Whereas, In some cases, hair fall is accompanied by intense itching, pain, and burning sensation and is rapidly progressive. The areas of the scalp, which are affected usually exhibit signs of inflammation, scaling, redness, change in pigmentation, or pustules. Scarring hair loss can occur in both healthy men and women belonging to all age groups.
Androgenetic alopecia is one of the most common types of hair loss which affects millions of people around the world. It is commonly known as female pattern hair loss and male pattern hair fall. Androgenetic alopecia is a hereditary disease but can be managed with medication or surgery.
When a large number of hair follicles on the scalp enter in the resting phase of the hair growth cycle, telogen and the next growth phase does not begin it is called Telogen Effluvium. This condition causes the hairs to fall out all over the scalp without new hair growth. The condition usually does not lead to complete baldness but you may lose between 300 to 500 hairs per day. Telogen effluvium can be because of childbirth, thyroid imbalance, fever, and vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Causes of hair loss
There can be various causes of hair loss. Some of the most common causes are:
Heredity: Baldness can be because of genes, if you have a family history of hair loss then you may have male or female pattern baldness.
Halt in the hair growth cycle: Sometimes hair loss can be because of a simple halt in the cycle of hair growth, Major illness, surgery, and traumatic events can also cause hair loss. However, in such conditions hairs usually start to regrow without treatment.
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes associated with childbirth, pregnancy, birth control pills, and menopause can also cause temporary hair loss.
Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as eczema, ringworm, and thyroid can also cause hair loss.
Medication and treatment: Medications which are used to treat cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure, arthritis, and depression can also cause hair fall.
Emotional shock: Emotional shock such as the death of a family member can also lead to hair fall.
Poor diet: A diet which is a lack of Causes of hair fall in men or in women include thyroid disease, alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, and tinea capitis. protein, iron, and other nutrients can also be a cause of hair thinning.
What are the treatment options for the patient with hair fall?
Medication is the first thing to treat hair fall. Initially, it is advised to apply over the counter medications such as topical creams and gels directly on the scalp. One of the most common ingredients of these medications is minoxidil. Other than this your doctor can also recommend oral medication.
Hair transplant surgery
In some cases, medication is not enough to stop hair fall in such cases hair transplant surgery can deal with hair loss. In hair transplant surgery small plugs of the skin with few hairs are moved to the area with thin or no hair. This treatment is recommended for people who have inherited the problem of baldness.
A low-level of soft laser light is used to treat baldness in men and women. Laser therapy stops and prevents hair fall and gives you a thicker, and healthier looking hairs. Laser treatment increases blood supply in the scalp and stimulates hair follicles.
If you are facing hair loss, you are not alone; there are millions of others who are in the same boat. Do not worry about hair fall, it will increase the problem. Consult with your dermatologist and find the appropriate solution for your problem. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet can also help you in dealing with hair fall problem in certain cases.