Sagar (37-years-old) works as a marketing manager in a real estate company. Sagar has good communication skills and is always well-maintained as he needs to deal with the clients. But over the past few months, he has noticed that he is suffering from excessive hair loss. Initially, he thought it was temporary, but the condition worsened with time. Sagar then talked to his best friend who suggested a doctor as he needs to identify the exact reasons for hair loss. Once the reason will be identified, Sagar can choose the best line of treatment to combat hair loss.
Hair loss is a common problem, and it is more prominent in older adults than children. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), a hair loss of 50 to 100 per day is common. New hair replaces the lost and damaged ones, but when this doesn’t happen, then it is called hair loss. Hair loss may appear suddenly or it can develop gradually, depending on your underlying conditions.
Hair Loss Symptoms
Some common symptoms of hair loss or alopecia are,
1. Widening Part
once you part your hair, you may notice the part getting wider. This could be a sign of thinning hair.
2. Ebbing Hairline
If you see your hairline is looking higher than usual, then this is also a sign of thinning hair.
3. Loose Hair
After use, check your brush or comb. If more hair is accumulated on the surface of the comb or brush, then this may be a sign of hair loss.
4. Bald Patches
Initially, these may be small, but can grow gradually.
5. Clogged Drains
sometimes, you may see the trap or sinks are clogged with hair.
6. Pain or Itching
Sometimes, underlying skin conditions may cause hair loss and you may feel pain or itching on your scalp.
Causes of Hair Loss
There are some illnesses that cause hair loss. Hair loss is associated with various hair fall diseases.
1. Androgenic Alopecia
This type of hair loss is also called male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. Nearly 50% of people are suffering from this type of hair loss. Though some people may experience the symptoms in their puberty, some may notice them in their middle ages (between 6 and 11 years old).
Female pattern baldness appears all over the scalp. It may also look like broadening or thinning around the part. Male pattern baldness gradually progresses above the temples and thinning starts from the frontal side of the head, creating an “M” shape.
2. Alopecia Areata
This type of hair loss is an autoimmune condition where your immune system attacks and kills hair follicles. As a result, you may see bald patches (from small to large) all over your head. In some cases, it may lead to complete hair loss. Apart from losing hair from your scalp, some people with alopecia areata may also lose hair from their eyebrows, eyelashes, and various other parts of the body.
3. Anagen Effluvium
In this type of hair loss, you may experience a rapid loss of hair. Cancer is one of the diseases that cause hair loss in both men and women. Patients who are having cancer often receive radiotherapy treatment or chemotherapy, which can lead to anagen effluvium hair loss. Once you stop the treatment, your hair will start to regrow again.
4. Telogen Effluvium
You may experience this type of hair loss due to some emotional or physical shocks, like a traumatic event, excessive stress, or life-threatening disease. This type of hair loss may also occur due to hormonal changes in pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.
Other reasons of telogen effluvium are,
- Certain endocrine disorders
- Starting or stopping hormonal birth control
Some medications may also cause this type of hair loss. These medications could be,
- Oral Retinoids
- Thyroid medications
Once your underlying condition is improved, this type of hair loss will be resolved.
5. Tinea Capitis
Tinea capitis is a fungal infection that affects your hair scalp and strands. Small bald patches may appear on your scalp, which could be scaly and itchy. The size of the patches will increase gradually. Some symptoms are,
- Brittle hair that breaks easily
- Scalp tenderness
This condition can be treated with medication.
6. Traction Alopecia
This type of hair loss results when you give excessive pressure and tension to your hair. Various hairstyles, like braids, ponytails, or buns may give too much pressure to your hair, as a result, you may experience hair loss.
Illnesses that cause hair loss in females are pregnancy, thyroid disorder, PCOS, anemia, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Some diseases that are responsible for scarrings like lichen planus and some types of lupus may cause permanent hair loss.
What are the Treatments for Hair Loss?
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines like topical creams, gels, solutions, or foams contain minoxidil that you need to apply to your scalp directly.
- Some prescription medications, like finasteride (Propecia), are effective in treating male pattern baldness.
- Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, like corticosteroids, if you are suffering from hair loss due to an autoimmune condition.
2. Hair Transplant Surgery
In this type of surgery, small plugs of skin with a few hairs are implanted on your scalp.
3. Scalp Reduction
An expert surgeon eliminates a part of your scalp that lacks hair and closes the area with a piece of your scalp that contains hair.
Illnesses that cause hair loss in females
1. Thyroid disorder
The Bottom Line
Hair loss is a common problem for anyone. But if you have experienced unexplained hair loss or face hair loss due to some health issues, you should consult a doctor immediately. Hair loss can be cured if you address the underlying condition.