What is it?
Hair loss is a natural process for many of us, but can cause embarrassment and frustration. Our hair growth cycle consists of three phases: the Anagen or the growth phase, the Catagen or the transitional phase and the Telogen or the resting phase. The hair follicle re-enters the growth phase at the end of the Telogen phase, and this is where many hair loss problems might start to occur.
- 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 and can begin as early as 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. 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. The hair follicles remain alive and the hair will usually grow back, no matter the extent or duration of the hair loss. This hair loss problem is usually treated actively as sometimes the hair loss stays for many years if left untreated. Our physicians at Kay Aesthetic Dermatology will choose treatments that might include creams , pills and or light treatments.
- 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 generally re-grows naturally within a few months. Causes of 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 or Scalp Ringworm
This 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 around the scalp hair follicles leading to permanent scarring and hair loss is seen in a group of dermatology conditions ranging from autoimmune diseases to excessive inflammation of unknown cause. When faced with this type of hair loss, your Dermatologist will need to order blood tests and a skin biopsy to determine the best treatment options.
What are the causes of hair loss?
Hair loss can result from many causes. Temporary hair loss can be seen after exposure to harsh chemicals and heat. Family history of hair loss is usually hormone related. Diet can affect hair loss if there is a sudden change or lack of protein in the diet. At Kay Aesthetic Dermatology our physicians are very experienced in all the causes of hair loss and all the effective treatments for these causes. Often , in women, investigation into the hair loss problem is complex and takes time to analyze. Only Dermatologists are trained in this area of medicine.