Genetic Testing In Androgenetic Alopecia
A gene polymorphism-based diagnostic test that will predict the chances of future androgenetic alopecia development is now in the market . For young patients concerned about hair loss, this test may help to define the value of early treatment initiation.
In males, the gene test can predict the chances for MAA by reporting the presence or absence of a specific variation in the androgen receptor gene found on the X chromosome. The variant AR gene causes changes in the hair follicleâs response to dihydrotestosterone, resulting in alterations in the hair growth cycle. A positive test result indicates a 70% chance of developing MAA, whereas a negative test result indicates a 70% chance of not developing MAA. The test is of value as a screening test in predicting the future chances of developing MAA rather than a confirmatory test.
What Vitamins Are Good For Hair Loss Are There Home Remedies For Hair Loss
A good daily multivitamin containing zinc, vitamin B, folate, iron, and calcium is a reasonable choice, although there is no good evidence that vitamins have any meaningful benefit in alopecia.
- Newer studies suggest that vitamin D may be somewhat helpful and worth considering.
- Specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies like iron or vitamin B12 may be diagnosed by blood tests and treated.
Multiple vitamins, including
- biotin has been promoted for hair growth, but solid scientific studies for many of these claims are lacking. While taking biotin and other supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nails probably won’t worsen anything, it may also not necessarily help the situation. Therefore, advertised hair-regrowth supplements should be approached with mild caution.
- There is only anecdotal evidence that oral or topical application of garlic, onion juice, saw palmetto, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, apple cider vinegar, creatine, and pumpkin seed oil are of benefit for hair loss.
Approach To The Patient With Nonscarring Alopecia
The history and physical examination are often sufficient to determine a specific etiology for hair loss. It is convenient to divide the various causes into focal and diffuse etiologies, and proceed accordingly. Patchy hair loss is often due to alopecia areata, tinea capitis, and trichotillomania. Diffuse hair loss is commonly due to telogen or anagen effluvium. Androgenetic alopecia may be diffuse or in a specific pattern, and may progress to complete baldness.
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Trichotillomania And Hair Loss
In other words, Trichotillomania causes people to pull out their hair excitingly. According to Dr. Glashofer, Its like a tic, the person is continuously playing with their hair, thus pulling it out.
Regrettably, this repeated playing and pulling of the hair can typically deprive your head of its natural protection hair. Trichotillomania usually starts before the age of 17 and is 4X as common in women as in men.
Interestingly, some antidepressants may be a practical solution, and behavioral modification therapy is equally another excellent option for fighting it. However, always see your doctor for more professional advice.
How Is Abnormal 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 and your skin. Investigations such as blood tests or skin testing may be done to find out the cause of your hair loss.
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Speaking To A Healthcare Professional About Men’s Hair Loss
When consulting a healthcare professional about your hair loss, you may feel unsure on what to say. Below are 4 steps to take before and during your consultation to help you:
STEP 1: Create a simple diary to track your hair health
Jot down a list of out-of-the-ordinary experiences you have been having with your hair, such as more frequent and/or larger clumps of hair in the drain after showering, or an increased number of strands on your pillow. Take these daily observations over a 1- to 2-month time period. These are all things you want to mention to your healthcare professional.
STEP 2: Feel free to bring the evidence
Jot down a list of all the self-diagnostic tools and tests youve used and the results from these tests. Bring them with you to your appointment. You may also bring photos of your scalp. Some men bring in clumps of hair in a plastic bag for their healthcare professional to examine. Dont be shy. He or she is there to help you.
STEP 3: Tell your healthcare professional about lifestyle habits or changes that may be related to hair loss
Although hair loss can be due to genetic factors, remember that there are still other causes of hair loss in men, such as long-term everyday stress and, in more rare cases, a medical condition .
STEP 4: Inquire if any further testing is necessary
How Can I Regrow Any Hair Ive Lost
You may have heard of minoxidil , which is a topical medication that can help promote hair growth.
Its available in liquid or foam form in concentrations of 2% and 5%. Researchers suggest minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to affected areas, which delivers more nutrients that encourage new hair growth. This treatment may also shorten the resting phase of hair follicles so they switch to the growth cycle sooner .
Higher concentrations of minoxidil are more effective at regrowing hair, but can also cause more side effects, which include itching and irritation at the application site . While 5% minoxidil has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in men, its not typically recommended to women as it can cause excessive hair growth. Still, a healthcare provider may decide the benefits outweigh the risks and recommend 5% minoxidilas long as youre closely monitored for side effects.
If you have telogen effluvium, products like minoxidil can encourage hair regrowth, but addressing any underlying health conditions or nutrient deficiencies is generally the best solution to the problem . A healthcare professional may suggest a healthy eating plan or supplement regimen if your hair loss is caused by a protein or iron deficiency.
If your hair has started falling out suddenly, your best bet is to talk to a healthcare provider. They can help you determine whats causing the sudden hair loss and correct any underlying issues that may be contributing.
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It May Just Be Part Of The Natural Facial Hair Growth Cycle
Your facial hair growth follows a similar anagen-catagen-telogen growth phasing as the hair on top of your scalp.
In short, the phases are these:
- The anagen growth phase, lasting 2-6 years.
- Catagen transition phase, lasting 1-2 weeks.
- Telogen resting phase, lasting 2-4 months.
- And then the follicle does the same all over again.
Because of this, you will naturally shed a lot of beard hairs on a daily basis, and you are not actually losing these hairs either.
Your body just churns through its natural beard growth stages.
The old hairs are simply being pushed out after the telogen resting phase ends, and the hair follicles return back to the anagen growth phase, producing new hair strand through the same tube.
On average, a thick full beard holds about 30,000 hairs, and as part of natural shedding, its not uncommon for you to see 50-150 beard hairs falling off in a day.
At each given time, about 10% of your beard whiskers will be in the telogen resting phase, just waiting to drop off so the follicle can sprout new hair from the same tube once it returns to the anagen phase.
Instead, you should be paying close attention to your beard as is, does it look much thinner, are there noticeable new bald spots?
Hormones And Androgenetic Alopecia
The role of androgen in male pattern hair loss is well established. American anatomist James Hamilton observed that castrated males did not develop MAA unless they were supplemented with testosterone .
Measurements of serum androgens, testosterone, dihydroepiandrosterone sulphate , and free testosterone levels have failed to demonstrate a reproducible difference between cases and controls . A study that assessed different hormonal levels in MAA and age-matched controls measured elevated levels of cortisol and androstenedione in those experiencing MAA . This study further suggests a broad range of hormones may influence androgenetic alopecia. Even though scalp hair loss and hirsutism are essential features of hyperandrogenism in women, several investigations failed to demonstrate raised androgen levels in women . Therefore it is suggested that normal levels of androgens are sufficient to cause hair loss in genetically susceptible individuals.
The observation that eunuchoidal patients with androgen-insensitivity syndrome and 5 alpha-reductase deficiency do not go bald suggests that MAA is induced by activation of follicular androgen receptors by DHT . Patients affected by Kennedy’s disease, with a functional abnormality of the androgen receptor gene, have a reduced risk of MAA . Increased levels of DHT have been found in balding scalp compared to non-balding scalp .
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How Is Alopecia Areata Treated
Alopecia areata cannot be cured however, it can be treated and the hair can grow back.
In many cases, alopecia is treated with drugs that are used for other conditions. Treatment options for alopecia areata include:
- Corticosteroids: anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed for autoimmune diseases. Corticosteroids can be given as an injection into the scalp or other areas, orally , or applied topically as an ointment, cream, or foam. Response to therapy may be gradual.
- Rogaine® : this topical drug is already used as a treatment for pattern baldness. It usually takes about 12 weeks of treatment with Rogaine before hair begins to grow.
Other drugs that are used for alopecia with varying degrees of effectiveness include medications used to treat psoriasis and topical sensitizers .
Hair Cycle Of Growth And Rest
Like your skin and nails, your hair goes through a finely tuned cycle of growth and rest. There are 3 phases in a hair cycle:
- In the first stage, your scalp hair is continually growing. During this anagen 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, called the catagen phase, 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, the telogen phase, is a resting phase that lasts between 14 months. About 10% of your scalp hair is in this phase at any one time.
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Infections That Cause Hair Loss
A number of infections and illnesses can lead to hair loss. An infection that causes a high fever, a fungal skin infection, and bacterial infections like syphilis can all be responsible for balding or thinning hair. Treating the underlying infection can restore hair growth and prevent future hair loss. So your first step is to seek medical attention for the primary health problem.
Hair Loss From Thyroid Problems
Either an underactive thyroid, a medical condition called hypothyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, can result in hair loss because each condition causes a hormonal imbalance. Hormones help to regulate nearly every function in the body, including hair growth. Getting the right treatment to control either of these thyroid conditions will get hormones under control, stop hair loss, and allow your hair to starting grow back.
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What Causes Hair Loss
First, your doctor or dermatologist will try to determine the underlying cause of your hair loss. The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary male- or female-pattern baldness.
If you have a family history of baldness, you may have this type of hair loss. Certain sex hormones can trigger hereditary hair loss. It may begin as early as puberty.
In some cases, hair loss may occur with a simple halt in the cycle of hair growth. Major illnesses, surgeries, or traumatic events can trigger hair loss. However, your hair will usually start growing back without treatment.
Hormonal changes can cause temporary hair loss. Examples include:
- heart problems
A physical or emotional shock may trigger noticeable hair loss. Examples of this type of shock include:
- a death in the family
- extreme weight loss
- a high fever
People with trichotillomania have a need to pull out their hair, usually from their head, eyebrows, or eyelashes.
Traction hair loss can be due to hairstyles that put pressure on the follicles by pulling the hair back very tightly.
Reasons For Sudden Hair Loss And How You Can Get Help
Everyone experiences hair shedding, and it happens to each of us every day. Most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of this natural cycle, more on days you wash your hair. But what if you check your pillow, shower drain, or comb and it looks like youâre suddenly losing much more than that?
The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Theyâll get to the bottom of why youâre losing hair, and theyâll make sure you get the right treatment in case a medical condition is to blame.
Here are just some of the reasons you could have sudden hair loss.
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Facial Alopecia Aerata & Alopecia Barbae
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder which causes inflammatory cells to attack the hair follicle.
This results in round bald patches in various parts of the body, and the condition impacts about 2% of the population at some point in their lives.
When this happens in the facial hair area, its often called either alopecia areata barbae or alopecia barbae.
Like with many autoimmune diseases, the treatment is difficult, and a full understanding of the causes are not well understood.
In some cases, alopecia lasts through the lifetime, but in others, it can come and go in waves.
Most commonly, alopecia is treated with corticosteroid injections or cream. And some evidence suggests that removing gluten from the diet can help in the normalization of the immune response6.
Minoxidil the most potent hair and beard growing agent currently known also provides help for some people depending on the severity of the autoimmune response.