Can Alopecia Be Reversed
Whether your hair loss is caused by hormones or an autoimmune disorder, regrowing your hair by using new medications and modifying your diet can be possible as long as you start treatment early. According to a 2017 article in Nature Reviews Disease Primers, hair loss becomes irreversible once the hair follicle is destroyed.
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Alopecia Areata
Your dermatologist will examine the area with hair loss carefully and look at your nails. Your dermatologist will also ask some questions. This may be enough to diagnose you.
Because there are so many reasons for hair loss, testing is sometimes necessary to make sure alopecia areata is the cause of your hair loss.
A blood test can look for other diseases caused by the immune system. Sometimes, other tests are necessary.
If you have alopecia areata, your dermatologist will talk with you about how the disease is affecting your life and whether treatment is recommended.
What Can I Do About Traction Alopecia
To protect your hair from traction alopecia and prevent further damage:
- Ask your stylist to create looser braids or dreadlocks.
- If you have braids, remove them after three months.
- If you wear a weave or hair extensions, remove them after eight weeks.
- If you have relaxed or dyed hair, make sure these treatments are applied by a professional. If you still notice breakage or hair shedding, avoid chemical treatments completely.
- Minimize heat styling, including hair dryers, flat irons and curling irons. These wear out the hair and can lead to major hair loss.
Also Check: How To Disguise Thinning Hair Female
How A Dermatologist Diagnoses Alopecia Areata
Hair loss is not always due to alopecia areata, but if it is, your board-certified dermatologist will be able to diagnose it by closely examining the areas of your skin experiencing hair loss. Sometimes, a few hairs will need to be removed or a biopsy of the bald area will need to be performed. To perform a biopsy, your dermatologist will remove some affected skin and examine it under a microscope. Your dermatologist may also examine your scalp using a dermatoscope. A blood test is sometimes helpful in diagnosing alopecia and other diseases caused by the immune system.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia may occur as a result of hair products or styling techniques that damage hair follicles. The use of hair relaxers, blow dryers, curling irons, and hair extensions can cause central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, as can the process of creating a permanent wave, or a perm.
The frequent application of oils, gels, or pomades can also cause this condition, which may be reversible if you stop using these hair products or styling techniques. Our dermatologists may recommend taking medication to help hair grow back.
Also Check: Is It Safe To Color Thinning Hair
What Is Androgenetic Alopecia
Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.
As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it’s important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.
Microneedling And Hair Transplantation
Microneedling has gained popularity and has been found to be beneficial in stimulating hair regrowth in alopecia. It was previously used for cosmetic purposes and is now used to improve topical drug delivery. Microneedling uses multiple fine needles, generally attached to a roller, to create tiny punctures in the skin that stimulate neovascularization, release growth factors, and promote the expression of Wnt proteins. Hair growth is a result of the release of certain growth factors and activation of the hair bulge, and Wnt proteins have been found to stimulate dermal papillae stem cells, leading to hair growth. Microneedling is generally used in conjunction with topical therapy such as minoxidil and it has been used with PRP. Studies assessing the efficacy of microneedling in conjunction with topical minoxidil are small, but some have reported statistically significant results.
Results from other studies are varied however, it appears that microneedling may increase penetration of topical drugs into the scalp, thereby promoting effectiveness.10 This may be something for providers to consider in those patients in whom traditional topical therapy has been ineffective.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Female Hair Loss
What Are The Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata
The main symptom of alopecia location is loss of hair. Hair normally falls out in small round spots on the scalp. These spots are typically several centimeters or less. Hair loss may likewise happen on other parts of the body. You might first notice clumps of hair on your pillow or in the shower. Nevertheless, other kinds of diseases can likewise cause hair to fall out in a similar pattern. Hair loss alone shouldnt be used to identify alopecia location.
In rare cases, some people may experience more substantial loss of hair. This is normally an indicator of another type of alopecia, such as:
- alopecia totalis, which is the loss of all hair on the scalp
- alopecia universalis, which is the loss of all hair on the entire body.
The loss of hair related to alopecia areata is unpredictable and random. The hair may grow back at any time and then might fall out once again. The level of loss of hair and regrowth differs considerably from person-to-person.
What Are Some Types And Causes Of Alopecia
- Alopecia areata affects any part of the body, including the scalp. It may be caused by your immune system attacking your hair follicles. It may start with patchy hair loss. Many people will recover from this condition within a year. Alopecia areata may come back or lead to more severe hair loss.
- Androgenic alopecia is also known as male or female pattern baldness and affects the scalp. It is a genetic condition that causes the hair follicles to get smaller and produce less hair over time. It usually starts at 20 to 40 years of age and is more common in men.
- Telogen effluvium happens when hair sheds more than usual and leads to hair thinning. It can be caused by many things including certain medicines, injury, and physical or mental stress. It can also be caused by a change in hormones and poor nutrition.
- Anagen effluvium is caused by chemotherapy, radiation, and poisoning.
- Traumatic alopecia happens when chemicals, scarring, or tension on your scalp or hair follicles cause hair loss. Braids, chemically treated hair and trichotillomania are some examples. Trichotillomania is a behavior disorder that causes a strong urge to pull out your hair.
- Tinea capitis is an example of alopecia that is caused by infection. Alopecia can be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.
- Alopecia mucinosa and alopecia neoplastica are examples of alopecia caused by cancer.
You May Like: Can We Regrow Hair After Hair Loss
Noticeable Hair Loss In Women Can Be Deeply Distressing Here Are Some Medical Treatments That May Help
About one-third of women experience hair loss at some time in their lives among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots. Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does on men w, because it’s less socially acceptable for them. Alopecia can severely affect a woman’s emotional well-being and quality of life.
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It’s called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic “M” shape hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman’s hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
There are many potential causes of hair loss in women , including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it’s important to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may also want to ask your clinician for a referral to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties. Hair loss in women can be frustrating, but recent years have seen an increase in resources for coping with the problem.
How Does Female Pattern Hair Loss Manifest
Androgenetic alopecia in women usually appears in a diffuse manner with gradual thinning of the hair at the top of the head, making the part line gradually wider.
Unlike baldness in men, women very rarely experience a receding hairline and even more rarely become completely bald.
Androgenetic Alopecia in females usually manifests as slow hair thinning, particularly right at the crown and some times around the temples.
If you are wondering how pattern baldness looks like in women, the answer is a wider and thinner part than usual, with some receding hairline around the temples. It does not look like complete bald spots or a bald head.
A woman with this condition will start noticing an increase in hair shedding, particularly when she washes her hair and when she brushes it wet. It depends on how much hair she used to have, and how thick it was, the balding areas will be noticeable sooner than later.
Medical experts usually classify female pattern baldness in three stages or types:
- Type I hair loss: Slight, bearly visible thinning around the parting line, especially towards the front.
- Type II hair loss: Visible widening of the part with some thinning around the back part of the crown.
- Type III hair loss: Evident see-through areas throughout the scalp but particularly on the crown and middle part.
The image shows the usual progression of female pattern hair loss. The stages correspond to the Sinclair scale, frequently used to determine the stage of baldness a woman is at.
Don’t Miss: Can Iud Cause Hair Loss
Alopecia Treatments That Work
A poor diet can cause nutrient imbalances and inflammation, affecting hair follicle structure. According to a 2018 study published in Dermatology and Therapy, you need key nutrients in your diet to prevent hair loss.
A 2017 study published inThe Archives of Dermatological Research concluded that following a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in vitamins and minerals, decreases the risk of androgenetic alopecia in males. The corticosteroids or topical immunotherapeutics , and topical minoxidil which is used to help male-pattern baldness.
Breakthrough treatments include âoral minoxidil for androgenetic alopecia and oral for alopecia areataâ, King says.
First What Causes Hair Loss Or Thinning In General
There are many different types of hair loss and a multitudeof factors that can contribute to the issue. The hair loss thats seen post-COVID-19 is usually telogen effluvium, a condition in which hair sheds in response to a stressor. Telogen effluviumthe most common type of generalized hair lossis not only triggered by viruses, it can also be a side effect of certain medications, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal abnormalities, and stressful events .
Androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata are other common forms of hair loss, but they both show up differently than the general shedding seen in telogen effluvium. Androgenic alopecia typically manifests as hairline recession or thinning on the crown, specifically. This is the most common cause of localized hair loss and is often referred to as male or female pattern baldness, Craig Ziering, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, hair transplant surgeon, and hair restoration specialist, tells SELF. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 50 million people assigned male at birth and 30 million people assigned female at birth in the U.S. experience this type of hair loss, which is largely genetic, although hormones also play a role.
Also Check: Which Cancer Causes Hair Loss
Research Program For Alopecia Areata
Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting participates in numerous clinical trials for new medications and treatments. Depending on your situation, you could qualify for an alopecia areata trial, which would cover the cost of your alopecia medications or treatments. Learn more about our available clinical trials on our research programs page.
Alopecia areata can be a frustrating disease to treat, but our goal at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting is to get to the bottom of it and support your hair in its regrowth. Call us today at 610-828-0400 to schedule your appointment.
What Are The Complications Of Alopecia Areata
- Poor health-related quality of life due to distress.
- Higher rates of depression and generalised anxiety disorder adjustment disorders are also common.
- Other autoimmune conditions may be more commonly observed in patients with alopecia areata e.g. thyroid disease, vitiligo, psoriasis, diabetes mellitus, and atopy.
You May Like: How To Cover Up Thinning Hair In Front
How Is Alopecia Areata Treated
Theres no recognized treatment for alopecia areata, but the condition can be treated. Treatment might be able to stop future loss of hair or help the hair grow back more quickly.
You can rub particular medications such as minoxidil into the scalp to help promote hair development. Other typical treatments include steroid injections or corticosteroid creams and ointments. Sometimes, photochemotherapy might be used to promote hair development. Photochemotherapy is a kind of radiation treatment that utilizes a combination of oral medication and ultraviolet light.
Some individuals with alopecia areata choose alternative therapies to treat their condition. These might consist of:
- organic supplements
A lot of alternative treatments have not been tested in medical trials, so their efficiency in treating loss of hair isnt understood.
There are also some actions that might be required to help decrease pain, consisting of:
- using sun block to safeguard exposed areas from sunburns
- using sunglasses to protect the eyes from sun and dust if the eyelashes have actually fallen out
- using hat or headscarf to safeguard the scalp.
Follow The Mediterranean Diet
Eating fruits, vegetables and protein the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet can be helpful, especially compared to other trendy diets.
When you go on these restrictive diets, you may lose weight but its probably something you cant maintain, says Dr. Bergfeld. And theyre usually lacking in something that your hair follicles need.
Recommended Reading: Does Caffeine Affect Hair Loss
Maa And Disease Associations
Cotton et al. first suggested idea that male pattern baldness may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease . This has been subsequently supported by several other studies . A recent study found that asymptomatic young men with at least Grade 3 vertex baldness have a significantly greater risk of arterial stiffness than those with normal hair status. However, most of these studies were conducted by non-dermatologists and no dermatologic input was included for confirmation of MAA diagnoses. These statistically-significant, though weak, associations were discovered in epidemiological, cohort and case control studies. Severe early onset of MAA in subjects before age 30 may be associated with a higher risk for ischemic heart disease. In a retrospective study of 22,071 American subjects, men experiencing vertex balding were shown to have an increased incidence of myocardial infarction compared with frontal alopecia . One study showed that frontal male pattern baldness in young men was associated with increased serum cholesterol levels and higher blood pressure compared to men of similar age with no hair loss . Increased incidences of hypertension and elevated aldosterone levels have also been found in women with female pattern hair loss .
Male Pattern Hair Loss
In men, hair loss can begin any time after puberty and progress over the course of years or decades. It starts above the temples and continues around the perimeter and the top of the head, often leaving a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp. Many men with male pattern hair loss eventually become bald.
Read Also: What Can Cause Thinning Hair
What Is The Treatment For Alopecia Areata
There is no cure for alopecia areata. The hair loss in alopecia areata is associated with minimal harmful physical effects and spontaneous resolution may occur.
However, the psychological impact can be significant, therefore warranting treatment. Numerous therapies have been used with variable response and high quality evidence is lacking.