BALDNESS

  • Except on the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet, hair grows everywhere on the human skin.
  • Approximately 90% of the hair on a person’s scalp is growing each having its own life cycle that can be affected by a wide variety of factors such as age, disease. This life cycle is divided into three phases:
    • Anagen — active hair growth (two to six years duration)
    • Catagen –– transitional hair growth (two to three weeks duration)
    • Telogen — resting phase that lasts (two to three months duration); at the end of this phase, hair is shed and cycle is started again.
  • The rate of hair growth slows.

Types of Hair Loss (Alopecia)

  • Involutional alopecia
    • Hair gradually thins with age
  • Androgenic alopecia
    • Genetic condition
    • For males it is called male pattern baldness
      • Can begin in durin teenage years or early 20s
      • receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp.
    • For females it is called female pattern baldness
      • noticeable thinning appears in their 40s or later
      • General thinning over the entire scalp, especially at the crown.
  • Alopecia areata
    • Patchy hair loss in children and young adults which may result in complete baldness (alopecia totalis)
    • Hair returns within a few years in 90% of people with the condition
  • Alopecia universalis
    • Falling out of all body hair including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair.
  • Trichotillomania,
    • Psychological disorder which involves the pulling out of one’s own hair that most frequently found in children.
  • Telogen effluvium
    • Hair shedding and subsequent thinning due to a large number of hairs enter the resting phase, causing.
  • Scarring alopecias
    • Inflammatory skin conditions (cellulitis, folliculitis, acne), and other skin disorders (such as some forms of lupus and lichen planus) often result in scars that destroy the ability of the hair to regenerate resulting in permanent hair loss. Can also be caused by hot combs and hair too tightly woven and pulled

 

Hair Loss – Symptoms

  • Thinning, shedding, hair falling
  • The most common tye is inherited hair loss (androgenetic alopecia)
    • For Men
      • Loss of hair on the front hairline and forehead and on top of the head. Eventually, only hair around the ears, the sides, and the back of the head remains
    • For Women
      • Gradual thinning throughout the scalp, but mostly on the top of the head.
  • The loss of hair can also result in loss of self-esteem and feeling unattractive, especially in women and teens as hair is a key component of appearance.

DIAGNOSIS

Physician may do/request:

  • History & Physical Exam
    • Ask questions about your hair loss, look at the pattern of your hair loss, and examine your scalp
  • Other Tests (if needed)
    • Hair analysis
      • A sample of your hair and sometimes scalp will be taken and examined under a microscope
    • Blood tests
      • including testing for a specific conditions, such as an overactive or underactive thyroid gland

 

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

Medicines include:

Surgery

Surgery includes hair transplants and procedures such as scalp reduction and scalp flaps.

Hairpieces and hair products

May not be treated if it doesn’t bother you too much. Wearing of wigs may be an option.

Cosmetic approaches to hair loss include:

  • Wearing hairpieces made from human or synthetic hair
  • Using certain hair care products and styling techniques to make hair appear thicker

Hair care for cancer treatment

Hair loss caused by cancer treatment requires special care: Use mild shampoos. Do not use a hair-dryer.

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