- Alopecia refers to hair loss from any part of the body for any reason. There are several types, ranging from thinning hair to complete baldness.
- Androgenic alopecia, also known as “male pattern baldness,” can strike younger as well as older people. In both men and women, it is linked to having an excess of male hormones (androgens) around the hair follicles, which can block hair growth
- Most cases of hair loss are due to androgenic alopecia. Approximately 50% of men by the age of 50 years and 15% of women before the time they reach menopause have some degree of androgenic alopecia.
- Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss often associated with pregnancy, medication use, life stress, or surgery. It results in a larger amount of hair cycling into the resting (telogen) state where the hairs are ready to fall out.
- Scarring alopecia is a form of hair loss that results in scarring, where scarred areas will not regrow hair.
- Alopecia areata typically causes a few temporary bald patches on the scalp. It tends to run in families and often strikes in childhood. This type of alopecia sometimes affects people who have other “autoimmune” diseases like thyroid disease, lupus, or pernicious anemia
- Medical conditions cause you to loose your hair or make it become thin like hypothyroidism, cancer treatment, Lupus, chronic kidney failure and radiation.
- A non-medical reason for hair loss would be the fact that hair loss runs in the family. It is in your DNA and has been past down from generation to generation. When hair loss is in your DNA you will eventually loose your hair and there is nothing you can do about it.
- Sometimes, hair loss may be due to a vitamin A overdose, iron deficiency anemia, fever, or pregnancy.
- Various other factors that can cause hair loss are allergies, irritants, toxins, burns, injuries, and infections.
- Thinning hair is the most obvious symptom of androgenic alopecia.While men can go completely bald, women do not usually lose all the hair on the crown of the head.
- Alopecia areata appears as sudden losses of small round patches of hair, usually from the scalp, but sometimes from the face or body.
- The fingernails may be lightly pitted or stippled.
- The disease often comes and goes in cycles, with regrowth in between.
While hair loss can be very distressing, alopecia by itself is not harmful – the damage is cosmetic. But there is always a chance that alopecia might be a secondary effect or symptom of some other illness. To be sure, only medical tests and a full discussion with your doctor can ensure the right diagnosis.
Always see a doctor if you start to lose hair.