Hair loss is a common complaint seen in dermatology clinics. It’s normal to lose about 100 strands of hair from your head a day. But if baldness runs in your family, you could lose a lot more hair. With this kind of hair loss, you may end up with bald spots if you’re a man. If you’re a woman, you may find that the hair on the top of your head is slowly thinning. About half of all people have this type of hair loss by around age 50, approximately half of men and women experience baldness .
Hair loss can be very distressing to patients and can cause poor self-esteem. From frustration and attempts at self-help, patients with hair fall may present to the dermatologist with false beliefs about the causes of their condition and what treatments are effective. False beliefs are often acquired from the Internet or conversations with family and friends. If patients are allowed to continue with their incorrect beliefs about baldness , it can hamper their compliance with medical treatment, their expectations of improvement, and their ultimate outcome. Unusual hair fall can be due to some other medical condition for which treatment will also be different. So consult your dermatologist first.
Your symptoms will depend on what kind of hair loss you have.
If your hair is thinning, it happens slowly over time. You may not notice the hairs falling out. If your hair is shedding, then clumps of hair fall out. You may lose hair all over your scalp, which is called general hair loss. Or you may lose hair only in one area which is called focal hair loss.
With inherited alopecia, men usually get bald spots on the front hairline and forehead or on the top of the head. Over time, only the hair around the ears, the sides, and the back of the head remains. Women with this condition have some thinning all over the scalp, but mostly on the top of the head.
Other causes of baldness may also show distinct patterns. For example, conditions such as trichotillomania (compulsively pulling at the hair) or alopecia areata (in which the immune system attacks hair follicles) cause obvious patches of baldness. Stress and some medicines can cause clumps of hair to fall out.
Medically, it is classified as below:
Effluviums: A reversible condition in which hair falls out after a stressful experience.
Alopecia Areata: Sudden baldness that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may overlap.
Scarring Alopecia: loss of hair which is accompanied with scarring.
Congenital Hypotrichosis: Congenital Hypotrichosis is a condition of no hair growth. Unlike alopecia, which describes hair loss where formerly there was hair growth, hypotrichosis describes a situation where there wasn’t any hair growth in the first place.
Infectious agents: Baldness due to some infection in body and on scalp. A range of infection-related conditions can contribute to baldness.
Hair shaft defects: A hair shaft defect is any structural abnormality of the hair shaft. Some hair shaft defects are easily diagnosed with the naked eye, others may require microscopic examination.
Your doctor will ask you some questions about your hair loss and past health. He or she will also do a physical exam. Your doctor will look closely at your scalp and hair loss pattern. He or she may gently tug on a few hairs or pull some out for tests.
The most common cause of hair loss—inherited hair loss—is easy to recognize. Men tend to lose hair from the forehead area and top of the head but have normal amounts of hair on other areas of the scalp. Women tend to keep their front hairline but have thinning of the hair on the top of the head.
Treatment for hair loss depends on the cause. It also depends on your feelings. You may decide that you need treatment, or you may not be worried about thinning hair or baldness. The choice is up to you.
How well treatment works depends on your expectations and what caused the baldness. Treatment for hair loss caused by an illness, medicine, or damage to the hair usually works better than treatment for inherited hair loss.
Treatment for baldness may help you feel better about how you look. But some medicines may have harmful side effects. And surgery may carry certain risks.
When you are deciding about treatment, think about these questions:
- Which treatment is most likely to work?
- How long will it take?
- Will it last?
- What are the side effects and other risks?
- How much will it cost? And will insurance cover it?
How can you prevent Baldness?
Prevention is better than cure!!
Hair loss may be occur due to medicines, stress, lack of protein or iron, or hair care may be prevented.
Avoiding certain medicines, reducing stress, getting adequate protein and iron in your diet, and using hairstyles that don’t damage your hair may reduce or prevent baldness.
Inherited hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) cannot be prevented.
By increasing the blood flow in scalp , one can manage the severity of the problem.
This was the in general overview on the common but disturbing problem of baldness. Treatment differs as individual differs because everyone is having their own medical condition.
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