Hair Loss: An In-Depth Look at Causes & Treatment
Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is common among men and women. Roughly 95% of men experience some level of common male pattern baldness, and up to 40% of women experience significant hair loss post-menopause. It can be an overwhelming and concerning thing to go through, but baldness does not have to be permanent. Determining what the cause of your hair loss is, and then figuring out a treatment plan to fit is doable with the help of our experienced dermatologists.
What Causes Hair Loss
While common hair shedding during a shower or the brushing of your hair can look like a serious problem, it’s not that serious. Only when a significant amount of hair continuously falls out should you be alarmed. This level of hair loss can be caused by a number of underlying issues such as funguses, autoimmune diseases like alopecia and thyroid disease, and even anesthesia from surgery.
Piedra and folliculitis are the two most common funguses that cause hair loss. Piedra shows up as either black or white nodules on the hair follicles, and if untreated it can result in weakened hair fiber which causes hair to fall out. Folliculitis looks like acne and is the inflammation of hair follicles. It can be caused by the buildup of oil and dirt, but more often it is caused by a bacterial infection.
There are multiple autoimmune diseases that cause hair loss, but alopecia areata is one that specifically attacks hair follicles and interrupts hair growth. In addition to hair loss in the scalp, it can cause loss of eyelashes, eyebrows, and facial hair. However, because the hair follicles remain alive, the hair can grow back. Prolonged hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism is another autoimmune disease that causes hair loss due to hormonal imbalances.
Anesthesia from a recent surgery can result in hair loss, too. This type of hair loss is referred to as telogen effluvium and is caused by stress or traumatic events. As your hair grows, it moves through four different stages, and telogen is the stage where hair growth is inactive, hence the name telogen effluvium. While it is temporary, it can last anywhere from three to six months.
Hair loss presents itself in different ways— it can be localized at the top of your head, it can be patchy, and sometimes it can involve your entire head. Either way, hair loss can be treated by dermatologists and more often than not, its negative effects can be reversed.
Treatments For Hair Loss
There are a variety of hair loss treatments on the market. Some include topical treatments, supplements, and laser hair growth machines. However, hair loss is a condition that you need to treat by first consulting a dermatologist. From there, you can determine what the cause is and it can be treated with a combination of medication, treatment, and light therapies.
Get a handle on your hair loss as quickly as possible. Schedule an appointment at one of our South Florida locations to determine what the specific cause of your hair loss is, and to get on a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Contact us today so that we can help you look and feel your best.