Monday, May 17, 2010

Causes and Treatments of Hair Loss

Hair loss is evident when a person loses more than 150 strands per day. There are various causes for hair loss. The most common way for losing hair is mainly through washing, brushing, and combing. About 40% of the density of scalp hair has to be lost before thinning of the hair becomes noticeable. Hair loss is caused by 2 factors:

Heredity – This is the most common cause for male pattern balding. The person’s genetic make-up here is responsible for losing hair.

Illness, and their treatments - This can include high fever, thyroid disease, childbirth, inadequate protein in the diet, iron deficiency, cancer treatments, the use of certain medications, and other causes.

The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. There are different kinds of Alopecia.

Alopecia Areata

In this condition well-defined bald patches occur. It usually clears completely within 6-12 months without treatment.

Alopecia Totalis

This is an uncommon disease where all hair on the scalp is lost. The baldness here is usually permanent.

Alopecia Universalis

Here hair loss affects all parts of the body

Androgenetic Alopecia

This kind of balding is caused by heredity. It affects both men and women alike. This condition can start in during the teens, twenties or thirties.

Hair is made up of a form of protein. The same material is found in fingernails and toenails. Everyone from childhood to old age should eat an adequate amount of protein to maintain normal hair production. Protein is found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, some cheese, dried beans, tofu, grains, and nuts. Abnormal and excessive hair loss can be due to many different causes. About 50 percent of the population experience normal hair loss by the time they reach 50. As soon as losing hair is noticed, one should consult a dermatologist.

There are many causes for hair loss such as:

Thyroid disease – Proper treatment can correct this. Both an overactive and underactive thyroid can cause hair loss.

Iron deficiency – Low iron can be detected by the pathology lab and can be corrected with iron supplements.

Childbirth – Women usually lose hair after childbirth. This happens due to the hormonal changes in the body.

Fever and other illnesses – High fever or severe illnesses and their treatments lead to hair fall. This also is not a permanent condition and can be reversed.

Inadequate protein – Vegetarians and other people who suffer protein malnutrition lose hair. This condition can be reversed by adding protein to the diet.

Medications - Prescription drugs can cause temporary hair shedding in a small percentage of people.

Cancer treatment drugs - This occurs one to three weeks after beginning chemotherapy. The patient may lose most of his hair but the hair usually grows back once the treatment ends.

Infections – Ringworm is a common fungal infection in children. Patches of hair may be lost and replaced with pink scaly skin which can be treated with medication.

Treatment of Hair loss

If stress, insufficient iron or any temporary situation causes hair loss, the hair fall or loss will stop as soon as the cause ends. If infection cause hair fall, one needs to take antibiotics or anti-fungals. For all kinds of hair loss, early treatment works the best. Choosing a good hairstyle can hide hair loss effectively. Wigs can be a good option for women whose hair loss is severe. Finally, hair transplantation has come a long way over the last decade. If well done by professional, the result is very satisfactory and as close to natural hair.

Whatever the reason for hair loss, one needs to lead a healthy lifestyle, keep the scalp clean and see the physician as soon as hair loss becomes noticeable. Very few times the treatment won’t yield results but most often hair fall can be treated and new hair can be grown. Hair is a vital part of our physical appearance and we must take care of it.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the best blog post about causes of hair loss and available treatments. hair loss diseases are the main cause of hair loss. So we should periodically consult our hair care specialists/dermatologists.