Autoimmune Diseases That Affect Hair
Alopecia areata is often associated with an autoimmune disease, so it’s thought that some forms of hair loss can be caused by one of these medical conditions or is at least somehow related to it. Diabetes and lupus are two autoimmune diseases that can result in hair loss. This type of hair loss may not always be reversible it may sometimes be permanent. But medications and hair restoration surgeries may help compensate for any hair loss.
You’ve Been Super Stressed Or Ill
Stress or illness can cause hair lossit’s a process known as telogen effluvium, or the excessive shedding of hair induced by stress, Michelle Henry, MD, a dermatologist based in New York, previously told Health.
“Our bodies perceive mental stress the same way it perceives physical stress, and any dramatic stressor on the body can cause hair growth to become arrested,” Dr. Henry said. “And when hair growth is arrested, it sheds.” Specifically, when the body is stressed it released the hormone cortisol, which can then affect the hair follicle and result in shedding or hair loss. That shedding typically occurs at least three months following a stressful event, Angelo Landriscina, MD, a Washington, DC-based dermatologist, previously told Health.
Of course, preventing stress is the easiest way to help prevent stress-induced hair lossbut that’s not always an easy thing to do. If you experience hair loss of any kind, it’s wise to check in with your dermatologist. Should they determine that your hair loss is stress-related, your derm may recommend a treatment called minoxidil, a vasodilator that improves circulation around the hair bulb at the base of the hair follicle, to help grow hair back that you’ve lost. Also important: having patience and allowing time for hair growth.
Pcos Can Be A Trigger
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in women in which the body manufactures more androgens, or male hormones, than it normally should. It is a potential cause of hormonal hair loss in women. Women who suffer from this condition may grow facial hair and extra body hair. One of the other symptoms of this condition is thinning of hair on the head. Women affected with PCOS may also experience weight gain, acne, menstrual irregularities, ovulation problems, depression, and infertility. Hair thinning may be the only outward sign that a woman is suffering from this condition.
You May Like: What’s Good For Thinning African American Hair
What Is The Prognosis/outlook For Women With Hair Loss
Your diagnosis determines the prognosis:
- Anagen and telogen shedding may stop with time.
- Treat any diseases associated with hair loss.
- Disguise or cover your hair loss using a wig or hat.
- Early treatment of alopecia may reduce the speed of thinning and may promote regrowth.
While hair loss is not itself dangerous, women with hair loss tend to be very upset by the changes to their appearance. These negative feelings can affect self-esteem and social lives. Recent studies suggest that FPHL can be associated with conditions that include metabolic syndrome, endocrine disorders and diabetes.
Symptoms Of Excessive Hair Loss
For most people, excessive hair loss is gradual, which means it happens over a long period of time. This is especially true of male-pattern baldness. Hair loss is considered excessive when it results in bald spots or hair that is noticeably thinning. In some cases, hair can fall out suddenly. This is typically caused by sudden or prolonged stress, either physical or emotional.
You May Like: How To Help Hair Loss With Pcos
Points To Remember About Alopecia Areata
- Alopecia areata causes hair loss, usually on the head and face.
- The disease is different for each personsome peoples hair grows back fully, while it does not in others.
- There is no cure for alopecia areata, but there are treatments that help hair grow back more quickly.
- You can do many things to cope with hair loss, such as wearing hats or hair pieces and seeking support from others if you feel anxiety or depression.
Hair Loss Treatment For Women #: Stress Management
Since stress can trigger sudden hair loss in women, another hair loss treatment for women is to develop some healthy strategies for coping with stress. Journaling, exercising, meditating, and spending time outdoors can help to reduce stress levels. By reducing stress levels, you can recover more quickly from telogen effluvium or prevent it from happening in the first place.
Recommended Reading: Does Humira Cause Hair Loss
Whats Hair Loss In Women
Hair loss in women is just that when a woman experiences unexpected, heavy loss of hair. Generally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance some hairs fall out while others grow in. When the balance is interrupted when hair falls out and less hair grows in hair loss happens. Hair loss is different than hair shedding. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.
Hair grows on almost all of your skin surfaces not the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips or eyelids. Light, fine, short hair is called vellus hair. Terminal/androgenic hair is thicker, darker and longer.
Causes Of Sudden And Rapid Hair Loss
Now that you understand how hair grows and what happens when it falls out, lets explore some of the possible causes of sudden and rapid hair loss:
1. Medical Conditions
If you suddenly go from a full head of hair to rapid thinning, its possible that theres a medical condition to blame. For example, an overactive or underactive thyroid can lead to hair loss. Likewise, chronic or inflammatory disorders, chronic infections, and/or autoimmune diseases can cause diffuse telogen hair loss.
In other situations, certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair loss. This is especially common when people go on crash diets and dont consume adequate amounts of protein, zinc, iron, fatty acids, or vitamin D.
Certain medications can cause sudden hair loss. This is most commonly seen in anticancer drugs and/or chemotherapy treatments. Hair loss is typically noticeable within a week and becomes total and widespread by month number two.
In addition to chemotherapeutic drugs, medications that can sometimes cause hair loss include warfarin, steroids, birth control pills, lithium, amphetamines and vitamin A supplements, though hair will most often grow back when the offending medication is stopped, The New York Times explains. If youve recently started on a new medication and you notice hair loss during this period, consult with your doctor to see if there is an alternative option available.
You May Like: What Can I Do For Hair Loss Female
What About Pregnancy Hair Loss
Pregnancy may cause many changes in the scalp hair. As the hormones fluctuate during pregnancy, a large number of women feel their hair thickens and becomes fuller.
- This may be related to a change in the number of hairs cycling in the growth phase of hair growth, but the exact reason is unknown.
- Quite often, there may be a loss of hair after delivery or a few months later which will eventually normalize.
Medical Conditions Like Aga And Alopecia Areata
AGA is a progressive form of alopecia, in which thinning of hair progresses from the hairline, the crown of the head, or both.
The main causes include heredity and the effects of male hormones. I have seen male pattern baldness in my family: my grandfather had it, my dad has it, and my brother is now seeing the early symptoms of male pattern baldness.
Alopecia areata is a medical condition that develops suddenly and is characterized by the loss of hair in a circular pattern. Some people may have more than one, and anyone is at risk of developing this disease, regardless of age or gender.
Alopecia areata is often thought to be caused by stress, but it can also be caused by other factors such as endocrine abnormalities and autoimmune disorders.
Alopecia areata is easy to notice because hair falls out in large quantities, but AGA progresses gradually and is difficult to notice.
Read Also: How To Style Thin Hair Men
What Causes Rapid Hair Loss
Most of the time, rapid hair loss is the result of telogen effluvium a form of hair shedding thats linked to a sudden shock or change in your body.
Unlike female pattern hair loss, telogen effluvium isnt permanent and doesnt cause any lasting damage to your hair follicles. Instead, it occurs when your hairs suddenly enter into the telogen, or resting, phase of the hair growth cycle.
A variety of different events, stressors and other factors can cause telogen effluvium:
Illness. This type of hair shedding often develops after an illness, especially if the illness causes a high fever.
Rapid weight loss. You may develop telogen effluvium after a crash diet, particularly if your diet is or was low in protein.
Medication use. Some medications, including beta-blockers, anticoagulants, retinoids, thyroid medications, anticonvulsant and immunizations, may cause telogen effluvium.
Severe or chronic stress. Stress, whether sudden and abrupt or chronic, often causes telogen effluvium to develop.
Surgery. This form of hair shedding often develops after surgery, including after you are recovered from a surgical procedure.
Nutritional deficiencies. Iron deficiency and other nutritional deficiencies may result in telogen effluvium hair shedding.
Sudden changes in your hormone levels. These may occur naturally, such as during pregnancy, or after stopping hormonal medications like the birth control pill.
Hair Loss Treatment For Women #: Upgrade Your Products
If you use hair styling products, it may be time to upgrade. Since many styling products such as hair spray, wax and dry shampoo use a lot of chemicals that are extremely drying for hair and scalp, which means that it causes breakage and exacerbates hair loss in women.
Instead, switch to Hair Finishing Spray, a hair spray powered by plant organic extracts and natural content. By reducing your exposure to harsh chemicals could be another hair loss treatment for women.
Don’t Miss: What’s The Best Extensions For Thin Hair
What Causes Hair Loss In Women
According to experts, the average human scalp has about 100,000 hair follicles. At any given time, each of your hair follicles is in a different phase of this cycle: Anagen phase , Catagen phase, Telogen phase , and Exogen phase . Thus, seeing some hairs in your brush or in a bath is perfectly normal and doesnt mean you are experiencing a hair loss.
However, if you find more lost hairs than usual, spot thinning edges, or your scalp becomes more noticeable, it is worth analyzing the possible causes and taking action to stop and reverse hair shedding.
Physical Trauma: A Shock To Hair Follicles
When your body is under serious physical stress, the natural cycle of hair growth and resting can be disrupted, resulting in hair loss, often in the form of thinning hair strands may come out in clumps. Any shock to the system, such as being in a severe accident, undergoing surgery, experiencing burns, or becoming very ill, can also shock the hair follicles, resulting in up to 75 percent of your hair falling out, sometimes months after the fact.
Read Also: Which Doctor To See For Hair Loss Treatment
Causes Of Female Hair Loss Include:
- Androgenetic Alopecia Otherwise known as female pattern baldness or hereditary hair loss, this is the most common cause of baldness in women.
- Alopecia Areata – This autoimmune disorder causes patchy hair loss on the scalp.
- Scarring Alopecia This inflammatory condition destroys the hair follicles, leading to patchy hair loss.
- Tinea Capitis This fungal infection of the scalp causes hair loss. It is sometimes known as scalp ringworm.
- Hypotrichosis This is a rare genetic condition that causes hair loss all over the body.
- Traction alopecia This is a type of hair loss caused by pulling or rubbing on the hair.
- Over-styling This type of hair loss is due to chemical treatments like hair bleach or relaxers.
- Thyroid Illness The thyroid produces hormones that control hair growth. When the thyroid isnt functioning correctly, hair loss can occur.
If you notice hair loss, its essential that you visit your GP. Your GP can perform tests and rule out other causes of hair loss like a vitamin deficiency. Only your GP can provide a true diagnosis for the cause of your hair loss.
Is There A Test For Alopecia Areata
There is no single test to tell you if you have alopecia areata. Doctors usually see if you have the disease by:
- Looking at the areas where the hair has been lost and at your nails.
- Looking at your hair and hair follicle openings.
- Asking about your medical and family history.
- Ordering blood tests or other lab tests.
Read Also: Does Aussie Shampoo Cause Hair Loss
She Was Losing Fistfuls Of Hair What Was Causing It
Sudden hair loss may seem alarming, but it may be caused by a temporary stress and grow back.
- Read in app
A woman in my knitting group recently asked if any of us knew where she could buy a gray wig. Though she seemed to have an ample head of hair, she reported that shed been losing fistfuls every time she brushed or washed it. Obviously very upset about what was happening, she said she didnt want to wait until she was bald to find a substitute for her naturally gray hair.
She also wondered why, suddenly, this was happening and how it could be stopped. The dermatologist she consulted asked some telling questions and suggested the likely cause. Three months earlier, my friend had undergone surgery for colon cancer and, as if that werent enough of a stress, she had developed a serious postoperative infection.
The delayed result, a form of diffuse hair loss called telogen effluvium, was causing her hair to fall out in frightening clumps. The good news was that absent another physical or psychological insult, within a year she most likely will have regained her normal head of hair and can donate the wig she bought to a gray-haired woman about to undergo chemotherapy.
Other possible causes of diffuse telogen hair loss include an overactive or underactive thyroid, with normal hair growth restored once the hormonal abnormality is corrected. Various chronic or inflammatory disorders, autoimmune diseases or chronic infections may also cause diffuse telogen hair loss.
What Is Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is complex and not thoroughly understood. Its a common autoimmune condition that impacts children and adults and is estimated to impact up to 6.8 million people in the United States.
Diffuse alopecia areata is actually part of a family of hair loss conditions under the alopecia areata umbrella. Alopecia areata is generally considered to be an autoimmune skin disease where the body mistakenly attacks hair follicles in the skin.
While alopecia areata is most often recognized by the patchy hair loss it causes on the scalp, there are several different forms of alopecia areata that vary in hair loss patterns and severity.
- Persistent patchy alopecia: A chronic form of AA, characterized by patchy hair loss that does not resolve or worsen into more severe forms of hair loss.
- Ophiasis alopecia areata: A form of alopecia areata that causes hair loss at the sides and lower back of the scalp in the shape of a band.
- Diffuse alopecia areata: A form of AA that causes widespread scalp hair thinning. Diffuse AA may or may not progress into more severe forms of hair loss.
- Alopecia areata incognita: Similar to diffuse AA in that it also causes thinning over the entire scalp, but this form of AA typically comes on and worsens in a much shorter timeframe than diffuse AA.
- Alopecia totalis: A more severe form of AA that causes complete baldness of the scalp.
- Alopecia universalis: A severe form of AA that causes a complete loss of body hair.
Shop: GRO Collection for Thinning Hair
Also Check: Is Hims Legit For Hair Loss