Hair loss can be caused by many things. If you notice your hair thinning or falling out in large amounts then you should consult a dermatologist. A dermatologist will evaluate your hair loss problem to determine the cause, and if medical treatment is necessary. In some cases hair will naturally re-grow.
- Hereditary Thinning or Balding – Hereditary baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is the most common type of hair loss. More common in men than women, hair loss can be inherited from either parent. Hereditary hair loss can start in one’s teens. Men with androgenetic alopecia typically have a receding hairline and hair loss on the front and top of the head. Women generally experience overall thinning of their hair. While there is no cure, medical treatments are available.
- Alopecia Areata – A common disease that results in the loss of hair; more than four million people in the United States are affected. Alopecia areata is thought to be an autoimmune condition, and it may affect people of any age. Hair loss usually begins with one small, round, smooth patch and can result in complete loss of scalp and body hair. While heredity plays a role, the cause of alopecia areata is unknown. However, the hair follicles remain alive and the hair will usually grow back, no matter the extent or duration of the hair loss. A dermatologist may treat a person with this condition with cortisone injections, topical medications, light treatment or pills, so that the hair may re-grow faster.
- Telogen Effluvium – Metabolic or hormonal stress, or medications can sometimes cause excessive hair shedding on any part of the body, but usually on the scalp. Hair will generally re-grow naturally within a few months. Causes of Telogen effluvium include: high fever, severe infection, major surgery, chronic illness, thyroid disease, inadequate protein in diet, low serum iron, medications, birth control pills, or cancer treatments.
- Tinea capitis – Tinea capitis, or scalp ringworm, appears most commonly in children. This contagious condition is caused by a fungal infection on the scalp, and results in red scaly patches which sometimes ooze, and consequential hair loss. Oral medication is usually prescribed for this condition.
- Cicatricial Alopecia – Inflammation, itching and/or pain around the hair follicle distinguish this rare disorder that causes patchy hair loss. Cicatricial alopecia usually results in scarring and hair loss in the affected area; the cause is unknown. Treatments focus on stopping the inflammation, and thus the hair loss, from spreading.
To schedule an appointment with a board certified dermatologist at Soderstrom Skin Institute, call 1-888-970-7546.