What Is The Prognosis For People With Hair Loss
Hair loss can sometimes be a sign of an underlying disease. But hair loss itself poses no medical risk.
Depending on whats causing your hair loss, it may be temporary or permanent. Treatments can help people with certain types of hair loss. For conditions like alopecia areata that may affect children as well as adults, groups can provide emotional support and even help you buy wigs or find other ways to cope.
What Medications Can Cause Hair Loss 46 Known Drugs
Losing your hair or dealing with baldness can be incredibly frustrating.
As you age, it’s also not altogether unexpected: a majority of men will deal with hair loss sometime in their life due to natural causes, but it can be delayed — and hair restored — with proper hair loss treatment.
But medications for other conditions can also cause hair loss, and certain drugs can contribute not only to hair loss but excessive hair growth and changes in color and texture as well.
There’s good news though, as these changes in your hair are typically reversible once you stop taking the drug thats causing them. Here’s what you should know about medications and hair loss.
Key Points About Normal Hair Loss
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What Is Common Baldness
Common baldness usually means male-pattern baldness, or permanent-pattern baldness. The medical term for this is androgenetic alopecia. Male-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hairline and baldness on the top of the head.
Women may develop female-pattern baldness. In this form of hair loss, the hair can become thin over the entire scalp.
Other Causes Of Hair Loss In Men
Although male pattern baldness is the leading cause of balding, it isnt the only condition that can trigger hair loss.
With male pattern baldness, you typically dont have other symptoms aside from thinning hair. But with other hair loss causes, you may notice you have other symptoms, too.
Also, with most other causes, there isnt always a predictable hair loss pattern like there is with male pattern baldness. Instead, hair loss is more likely to happen all over, or in a few spots.
The following conditions can cause varying degrees of hair loss. Some types of hair loss may be permanent, while others may be reversible:
Hair loss from certain medications is usually temporary and once you stop taking the medication, hair growth will likely resume. Some of the known drugs associated with hair loss include:
- chemotherapy drugs
Hair loss treatments, for male pattern baldness in particular, range from products you rub into your scalp to more invasive treatments aimed at restoring hair growth or replacing lost hair.
Here are some of the more popular and effective treatment options for balding.
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Be Mindful Of Your Diet
The power of a healthy diet can go a long way when it comes to your hair. Like other parts of the body, hair requires certain nutrients to maintain its strength and continued growth. If you want to prevent hair loss from occuring because of a poor diet, be sure to prioritize eating healthy proteins daily. These proteins include iron, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc and are found in many types of healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables.
Adding nutrition to your diet must also mean cutting out habits that are counterintuitive to mindful eating. These habits can include smoking, eating processed foods with high amounts of sugar, and consuming high-glycemic foods . Before making significant diet changes, its important to consult with your doctor to figure out the best food plan for your health.
Will My Leg Hair Grow Back After Treatment
If your hair loss on the legs is unrelated to PAD, you may find that your hair grows back after you participate in the recommended treatment for your condition. For hair loss caused by atherosclerosis and PAD, undergoing an angioplasty, atherectomy, or stent placement may increase the blood flow in your legs. This, in turn, can result in the regrowth of hair on your legs, but it also may not. If you have further questions about hair regrowth after treatment, consult one of our vascular doctors.
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Thinning Hair Following Pregnancy
Other hormonal imbalances can also lead to hair loss, especially the wildly fluctuating hormones that occur following pregnancy and childbirth. It takes time after pregnancy for hormone levels to return to normal, so it’s not at all uncommon for post-partum moms to notice thinning hair or even patches of baldness. This often occurs about three months after babys arrival. Don’t worry as the rest of your body recovers, so will your hair follicles. The hair loss is only temporary your hair will grow back.
What Are The Treatment Options For Male Pattern Baldness
Coming to terms with losing one’s hair is difficult for many men. Unfortunately there are plenty of private clinics out there who promise incredible results, but often don’t warn you about what can go wrong. Hair replacement treatments are not always that effective and can rapidly become very expensive. Before you commit to anything, get a few opinions from different places. Preferably try to get the opinion of an impartial doctor in a state-funded health system, like the NHS.
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Hair Cycle Of Growth And Rest
Like your skin and nails, your hair goes through a finely tuned cycle of growth and rest. Hair loss can occur at any time in the cycle. There are 3 phases in a hair cycle:
- In the first stage, your scalp hair is continually growing. This is called the anagen phase. In this phase, your hair grows about 12cm per month. About 90% of your hair is in this stage at any one time. It lasts between 25 years.
- The second stage is call the catagen phase, which is when growth stops. About 13% of your scalp hair is in this phase at any one time. It lasts for 23 weeks.
- The third stage is called the telogen phase. This is a resting phase and it lasts between 14 months. About 10% of your scalp hair is in this phase at any one time.
At the end of its resting stage, a hair goes through a shedding phase, which normally results in the growth of a new hair. When a hair is shed, it’s replaced by a new hair from the same hair follicle, located just beneath your skin surface.
Male or female hereditary hair loss is caused by genetic or hormonal influences. It is also called androgenic alopecia because it is affected by the hormones called androgens. These are present in both men and women, but in different quantities.
Your risk of hereditary hair loss increases if you have relatives who have experienced hair loss. Your genetic blueprint for hair loss will affect things like:
- how old you are when hair loss begins
- how fast you lose hair
- the pattern and extent of your hair loss/ baldness.
How Is Hereditary Hair Loss Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your hair loss, including the pattern of your hair loss and whether you have any other medical conditions. Your doctor will also examine your hair. No tests are needed to diagnose hereditary hair loss, but blood tests may be done to rule out other conditions that can cause hair loss.
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What Is The Normal Hair Growth Cycle
All hair follicles are replaced at different rates by the normal process of hair cycling. Hair growth alternates between phases of activity and rest. The growth period, called the anagen phase, lasts for two to six years. During this time, the follicle is long and deep and produces thick, well-pigmented hair. About 90% of all scalp hairs are in the anagen phase at a given time.
Anagen is followed by a brief transition phase known as the catagen phase, which lasts 12 weeks. During this time, the base of the follicle shrivels. The resting period, or telogen phase, follows catagen and lasts for three months. In this phase, the shrunken follicle retains the hair fibre. Following the telogen phase, the next anagen phase begins, and the old hair is dislodged and falls out to make room for new hair to begin growing in its place.
The normal hair growth cycle
Its Not Just An Age Thing
A typical scalp bears some 100,000 to 150,000 hairs. Normally, between 50 and 100 of them fall out daily as they complete their growth cycle. When shedding outpaces growth, explains Dr. Shapiro, the result is alopecia, the medical term for hair loss. The most common type in both men and women occurs when follicles become overly sensitive to a hormone and deteriorate. As a result, the growth phase shortens until it finally stops. Although alopecia becomes more prevalent with advancing years, it affects one in four men by age 30.
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Treatment Options Include Medication And Surgery
If shedding is caused by illness, hair often grows back once the underlying problem is resolved. For male-pattern hair loss, there are two FDA-approved medications for female-pattern hair loss, theres only one. The most effectiveand only permanenttreatment, however, is a hair transplant: a dermatologist harvests healthy follicles from areas of dense growth and implants them where theyre needed. NYU Langones Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery offers an approach that is less invasive, extracting follicles with air pressure and suction rather than incisions. Says Dr. Shapiro: The results can be dramatic.
Are There Any Complications From Male Pattern Baldness
Understandably most men can feel less good about their appearance when they lose hair. This can sometimes affect their mood and well-being. Some counselling can help men come to terms with this natural process of ageing.
There is more risk of sunburn and sun-related skin damage when the skin is not protected by hair. This can be avoided by the use of suntan lotions and hats.
Women with male pattern baldness should be checked for causes of raised male hormone levels. For example, conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome – a condition in which cysts develop in the ovaries.
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What Causes Male Pattern Baldness
One cause of male pattern baldness is genetics, or having a family history of baldness. Research has found that male pattern baldness is associated with male sex hormones called androgens. The androgens have many functions, including regulating hair growth.
Each hair on your head has a growth cycle. With male pattern baldness, this growth cycle begins to weaken and the hair follicle shrinks, producing shorter and finer strands of hair. Eventually, the growth cycle for each hair ends and no new hair grows in its place.
Inherited male pattern baldness usually has no side effects. However, sometimes baldness has more serious causes, such as certain cancers, medications, thyroid conditions, and anabolic steroids. See your doctor if hair loss occurs after taking new medications or when its accompanied by other health complaints.
Doctors use the pattern of hair loss to diagnose male pattern baldness. They may perform a medical history and exam to rule out certain health conditions as the cause, such as fungal conditions of the scalp or nutritional disorders.
Health conditions may be a cause of baldness when a rash, redness, pain, peeling of the scalp, hair breakage, patchy hair loss, or an unusual pattern of hair loss accompanies the hair loss. A skin biopsy and blood tests also may be necessary to diagnose disorders responsible for the hair loss.
Male Hereditary Hair Loss
Hereditary hair loss in males is also known as male pattern baldness. It is more common with increasing age. The condition affects different populations at different rates and accounts for 99% of hair loss in men. It affects half the male population by the age of 50.
Hair loss starts in men from about the age of 30, but can occur at any age past puberty. How quickly or slowly baldness develops, and the pattern of hair loss, appear to be determined by the genes you inherited from your parents.
Your genes affect how sensitive your scalp is to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone , which shortens the growth phase of your hair. Your hair follicles also become smaller in response to DHT and you subsequently produce fewer and finer hairs.
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What Can Cause You To Start Losing Hair On The Legs
As people age, they may lose hair on their legs for a variety of reasons. Hair loss can occur on your legs just as it can on your head, and, similarly, genetics can play a role in this issue. If baldness runs in the family, you could also experience hair loss on other parts of your body, such as your legs. This rings true for both men and women.
Some hair loss conditions, such as alopecia areata, are caused by a faulty immune system. With alopecia areata, for example, the immune system confuses hair cells as foreign invaders and attacks them. Hair loss of the legs is called anterolateral leg alopecia. This condition isnt caused by one particular health issue, instead, it is a catchall term for any sort of hair loss on the legs. For example, PAD can cause anterolateral leg alopecia, as can genetics and rubbing the legs together too often.
Besides PAD, other conditions that may lead to hair loss on your lower legs include diabetes, poor circulation, thyroid conditions, fungal infection, folliculitis in severe stages, hormone changes, and pituitary gland disorders.
Remedies For Hair Loss
Thankfully, there are many remedies for hair loss. They are also very effective as long as you are sure about the cause of your hair loss, you should have no difficulty settling on the remedy that improves the quality of your hair.
Essential oils, dietary improvements, lifestyle modifications, and hair transplants are all effective remedies for hair loss. Dietary improvement entails eating more foods that encourage hair growth and reducing those that hamper it. Your lifestyle modifications could entail changing your haircuts, combing or brushing your hair only when it is dry, exercising regularly, and increasing your water intake, among many others.
Finally, hair transplants are very reliable and prefer a solution for all types of hair loss. Hair follicles will be harvested from the donor site and implanted in the recipient area.
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