MBBS, PGDUS, Fellowship In Aesthetic Medicine, Advance Course In Diabetes - USA, MD - Medicine
Hair loss can affect just your scalp or your entire body. It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or medications. Anyone — men, women and children — can experience hair loss.
Hair loss can appear in many different ways, depending on what's causing it. It can come on suddenly or gradually and affect just your scalp or your whole body. Some types of hair loss are temporary, and others are permanent.
Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include:
• Gradual thinning on top of head. This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting both men and women as they age. In men, hair often begins to recede from the forehead in a line that resembles the letter M. Women typically retain the hairline on the forehead but have a broadening of the part in their hair.
• Circular or patchy bald spots. Some people experience smooth, coin-sized bald spots. This type of hair loss usually affects just the scalp, but it sometimes also occurs in beards or eyebrows. In some cases, your skin may become itchy or painful before the hair falls out.
• Sudden loosening of hair. A physical or emotional shock can cause hair to loosen. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or even after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning and not bald patches.
• Full-body hair loss. Some conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in the loss of hair all over your body. The hair usually grows back.
• Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp. This is a sign of ringworm. It may be accompanied by broken hair, redness, swelling and, at times, oozing.
Most people normally shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. This usually doesn't cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair is growing in at the same time. Hair loss occurs when this cycle of hair growth and shedding is disrupted or when the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue.
A number of factors can increase your risk of hair loss, including:
• Family history
• Poor nutrition
• Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and lupus
Before making a diagnosis, we can do following tests :
Blood test. This may help uncover medical conditions related to hair loss, such as thyroid disease.
Pull test. Your doctor gently pulls several dozen hairs to see how many come out. This helps determine the stage of the shedding process.
Scalp biopsy. Your doctor scrapes samples from the skin or from a few hairs plucked from the scalp to examine the hair roots. This can help determine whether an infection is causing hair loss.
Light microscopy. Your doctor uses a special instrument to examine hairs trimmed at their bases. Microscopy helps uncover possible disorders of the hair shaft.
Treatments and drugs
Treatments for hair loss include medications, surgery, laser therapy, and wigs or hairpieces. The goals of treatment are to promote hair growth, slow hair loss or hide hair loss.
If your hair loss is caused by an underlying disease, treatment for that disease will be necessary.
Medications are available to treat pattern baldness. Two medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hair loss are:
Mesotherapy for hair loss is used with great success in Europe and the United States. The treatment is virtually painless and safe when done professionally. There is no dressing or local anaesthesia required. After the treatment you can just go back to work.
A low-level laser device is available to treat men and women with pattern baldness. It has been cleared by the FDA.
Some forms of hair loss can be prevented by minimizing stress, eating a healthy diet and using sensible hairdressing techniques, and, if possible, switching to medications that do not cause hair loss. Hair loss from fungal infections can be prevented by keeping hair clean and by never sharing hats, combs or brushes with other people. Hair loss from hereditary-pattern baldness can sometimes be prevented by medication.