How To Reduce The Negative Consequences Of Addiction On Hair Growth
The only way to ensure that addiction stops having negative effects on hair growth is to seek treatment for substance abuse. Even if you dont think it will happen to you, drug abuse can cause hair loss. However, getting sober will reduce the physical strain being out on the body.
In addition to helping with physical changes, inpatient addiction treatment programs provide comprehensive therapy that includes stress management techniques. By learning new ways to cope with anxiety, stress, and other emotions, you will not only learn to stay sober but to begin improving your hair health as well.
At our addiction treatment center, we have highly trained addiction counselors prepared to help you find the treatment plan that works for you. They will work closely with you to determine a plan of treatment that suits your individual needs. Dont keep losing hair to addiction, get help today.
How Can You Treat Drug Induced Hair Loss
There is a very likely chance that if you’re experiencing hair loss primarily as a result of a drug you’re taking, the hair will grow back on its own once you stop taking the medication. Its important to talk to your doctor before stopping, as the medication is certainly a necessary one for whatever medical condition its treating. However, if stopping the drug does not improve hair thinning, you may need to be treated with finasteride or minoxidil , medications that are known to slow hair loss and stimulate new hair growth.
Change Arthritis Drugs Or Dosages
You may be able to switch to a different type of drug with less risk of hair loss, such as a biologic or lower the dose of the offending medication while adding in another. Luckily, there are many options for treating inflammatory arthritis, so management changes can be made in patients experiencing excessive hair loss, Dr. Blazer says.
In the case of one patient experiencing hair loss, methotrexate still proved to be the most effective therapy for her RA, even after trying other DMARDs, Dr. Carteron says. Therefore, she elected to remain on methotrexate plus a TNF-blocker biologic, but we utilized the lowest possible dose of methotrexate, adjusting it to her disease activity.
Remember: Dont stop taking any arthritis medication without first talking to your doctor.
Read Also: Does Lack Of Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
Known Drugs That Can Cause Hair Loss
Drug induced alopecia, hair loss that develops due to a side effect of medication, will often occur within three months after starting the particular medication, but the exact timeline will depend on a few factors. The type of drug, type of hair loss, dosage, and your sensitivity to the drug are all important factors in how severe the side effects will be.
What Happens To Neglected Hair
When hair is not properly taken care of, it affects the scalp as well as the hair itself. Regularly washing hair clears away dead skin and brushing hair removes any strands that are ready to fall out naturally. Not washing the hair can cause dermatological issues on the scalp such as seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly referred to as dandruff. The result of this can cause an increase in itching and picking at the scalp, which in severe cases, damages the hair follicle and leads to permanent hair loss.
However, the relationship between drug addiction and hair loss is far more complicated than simply skipping a few showers. In fact, people suffering from substance use disorder also experience drastic chemical and hormonal changes internally that have negative consequences on hair growth another reason why drug abuse causes hair loss.
Don’t Miss: Do Shampoos For Thinning Hair Work
How To Treat Medication
Most of the time, any hair you lose from medication will grow back once you stop actively taking the causative medication.
If youre prescribed medication, its important that you dont stop taking it without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping medication suddenly may worsen your medical condition or cause you to experience side effects.
This is particularly important if youre prescribed medication for a life-threatening health issue, such as cancer, heart disease or severe depression.
If you notice hair loss after starting a specific medication, reach out to your healthcare provider to let them know. Depending on your health and the extent to your hair loss, they may suggest adjusting your dosage or using a different medication thats less likely to cause hair loss.
In some cases, you may not be able to adjust your dosage or stop using your medication until you reach the end of your treatment period.
How To Stop The Hair Loss Caused By Medications
- For some drugs, which cause telogen effluvium, your doctor can prescribe some alternate medications which do not list hair loss as a side effect. In many cases, the prescription is not life-long and the hair growth cycle is restored in two to three months after you stop ingesting the drugs.
- If you are looking for methotrexate hair loss treatment, tamoxifen hair thinning treatment or any other chemotherapy drug related hair loss treatment, then the hair growth can only be seen a few months after the treatment has stopped. And this hair growth often happens naturally.
Recommended Reading: What’s The Best Vitamin For Hair Loss
What Medications Cause Hair Loss
There are a huge number of prescription medications that can cause hair loss as a side effect. It is important to remember that not every one of the following medications will cause hair loss for every person, however, it is a possibility.
Anticoagulants : Blood thinning medication can cause hair loss known as telogen effluvium, this type of hair loss can affect the entire scalp rather than just a specific area. For most, hair loss will begin around 12 weeks after taking the medication.
Gout medications: Allopurinol, a medication used to treat gout can also lead to telogen effluvium.
These medications include Lopurin and Zyloprim
Beta blockers: Beta blockers are medication that helps to reduce the workload of the heart and work to lower blood pressure. For some beta blockers can cause telogen effluvium.
These medications include Atenolol , Metoprolol , Nadolol , Propranolol , Timolol
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors: Commonly known as ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors are another type of blood pressure medication can lead to telogen effluvium.
These medications include Captopril , Lisinopril , Enalapril
Antidepressants: Some medications that are used to treat depression and anxiety can cause telogen effluvium.
Anticonvulsants: Often known as anti-seizure medications, anticonvulsants can lead to hair loss.
These medications include: trimethadione and valproic acid .
How Can Medication Cause Hair Loss
Some medications can cause hair loss because they interfere with the normal cycle of scalp hair growth. Healthy hair growth will occur at a rate of roughly 0.35 millimeters per day, which is roughly half of an inch per month. In addition, most healthy men and women will have between 80,000 and 120,000 terminal hairs on their scalp.
Hair follicles, of which you have tens of thousands on your head, each cycle through three primary phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Medications can lead to two different types of hair loss: telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium.
Also Check: What Deficiency Causes Hair Loss
Which Types Of Medicines Cause Hair Loss
There are various types of medicines that are considered to cause hair loss, including:
- Acne medications containing vitamin A
- Antibiotics and antifungal drugs
- Drugs that suppress the immune system
- Drugs that treat breast cancer and other cancers
- Epilepsy drugs
- High blood pressure medications
- Hormone replacement therapy
Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss
One of the most common questions. The answer: Maybe. There is no clear scientific evidence that this drug directly causes hair loss but there are some anecdotic reports that link Metformin and hair loss. There is no warning about potential hair fall as a side effect on drug labels of boxes of Metformin.
However, some people have experienced this problem after taking the drug.
A patient taking Metformin for diabetes type 2 experienced a sudden loss of eyebrow and eyelash hair about 4 months after starting his treatment with the drug. Other people have reported losing body hair after taking Metformin and hair regrowth when stoping the drug.
Studies have also shown that Metformin depletes the bodys levels of folate and vitamin B-12, both important for hair growth and health.
If you are taking Metformin and experiencing hair loss, talk to your doctor about other options or about how you can modify your diet or supplement to get enough vitamin B12 and folic acid.
Read Also: What Is The Best Topical Treatment For Hair Loss
What Causes Hair Loss
While we know there are many variables that impact hair growth, its important to understand the biological process thats causing it. Age is an important factor because as we age, the anagen phase shortens, which is why hair can be more vulnerable to breakage and thinning over time.
If lack of nutrients and sleep are the culprits, it is because the body, under stress, is focused on keeping vital organs functioning and may need to divert resources like oxygen and nutrients away from the hair follicles.
Hormonal changes can contribute to hair loss because decreased estrogen and progesterone levels slow hair growth and cause hair thinning. Drops in estrogen and progesterone also prompt an increase in androgens , which can actually shrink the hair follicle.
Osteoporosis drugs, to the surprise of many, can cause hair loss by interfering with a crucial biochemical pathway that supports hair growth.
Medications And Hair Loss: The Basics
A variety of medications can contribute to hair loss. Most of the time, hair loss caused by medication is temporary. However, some medications may cause permanent hair loss.
Common medications that can cause temporary hair loss include anticoagulants , anticonvulsants and antihypertensive medications such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors.
Hair loss is a common, expected side effect of many chemotherapy medications used to treat many forms of cancer.
Medications that increase testosterone, such as anabolic steroids, can cause permanent hair loss due to male pattern baldness.
Although its uncommon, hair loss is a reported side effect of some medications used to treat depression and anxiety.
If youre prescribed medication and notice your hair thinning, its important to talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes.
You May Like: Does Laser Therapy Work For Hair Loss
Alopecia: What Causes Hair Loss
There are many reasons why meth use may lead to sudden or gradual hair loss.
First, stimulants like methamphetamine catalyze anxiety in habitual users. This can lead to nervous, fidgeting habits, which often include picking at ones skin or pulling out hair. The more often hair is pulled out, the more damage is done to the follicle: its anchor to the scalp. Over time, this can increase ones risk of permanent hair loss.
Also common is a lowered level of personal hygiene due to addiction. Those who are constantly obtaining, using, and recovering from meth do not focus on maintaining their appearances. They may not wash or brush their hair. This means that dead skin cells and stray strands are not regularly removed, which can result in scalp irritation, dandruff, itching, and damage to the hair follicle. Over time, this results in alopecia.
Finally, we must consider the chemical changes that take place in the body after a prolonged period of meth use. When a persons organs are under this type of stress, they cannot maintain normal processes. This is why it is common for those undergoing severe stress or whose organs are damaged to shed hair. Furthermore, researchers have found that ongoing substance use may cause damage to keratin, the protein which makes hair strong, healthy, and shiny. Hair with damaged keratin is prone to breaking off or thinning.
Drug Abuse Chemical Changes And Other Causes Of Hair Loss
Hair growth is a particularly sensitive physiological process. As a result, it is easily disrupted by stress in the body. This is one of the reasons why the effects of addiction on the hair are so detrimental. Chronic abuse of drugs and alcohol forces the body to adapt in order to protect itself from the damage caused by high levels of toxic substances. As addiction progresses, people develop increasing tolerance for drugs and alcohol. This means that the individual needs to use their drug of choice more frequently and at higher doses to achieve the same effects.
Furthermore, studies show that chronic drug abuse at high levels damages the keratin in hair. Keratin is the main protein that makes up the hair. It is what keeps your hair appearing strong and healthy. The damage of keratin due to chemical changes in the body cause hair to become dull, brittle, and weak. As a result, hair might break off, develop split ends, or begin thinning out.
In addition to weakening the hair shaft itself, the chemical changes caused by drug abuse also put high levels of stress in the body and, in some cases, leads to organ damage. However, one way the body copes with this stress is to shed excessive amounts of hair.
Also Check: Can I Take Finasteride 5mg For Hair Loss
How Substance Abuse Affects Hair Health
There are many reasons why drug abuse may lead to hair loss. Furthermore, strange changes in the physical appearance of those with substance use disorder is a very common side effect of drug and alcohol abuse. In fact, unhealthy hair is one of the most common warning signs that someone is suffering from addiction.
One of the most common side effects of substance abuse is anxiety. Anxiety leads to nervous habits that include picking at the skin and actively pulling at the hair. When the hair is pulled out by force, the hair follicle becomes damaged and traumatized. The hair follicle is where the hair grows out of and anchors the hair to the scalp. When it is damaged, it puts the person at high risk of permanently losing the hair. Some drugs that are more likely to cause nervous hair pulling include stimulants, such as:
People who are actively misusing drugs and alcohol may also neglect their physical appearance. They are so consumed by their addiction that they spend the majority of their time getting and using drugs. As a result, they skip out on basic personal hygiene activities, including taking care of their hair and skin. Hair washing and brushing might wind up very low on someones list of priorities when they are suffering from substance use disorder, leading to further damage to the hair and scalp.