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What Is Hair Loss A Sign Of

How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done

Is Hair Loss a Symptom of COVID-19?

The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:

  • Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
  • Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
  • Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
  • Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.

Joint Pain And Weakness

More than 90 percent of people with lupus will experience joint pain and weakness, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. Most of that discomfort is caused by the inflammation that lupus triggers. Often people feel pain and stiffness in their joints, which is called lupus arthritis.

Lupus can also weaken muscles, especially in the pelvis, thighs, shoulders, and upper arms. Additionally, the disease can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome, which leads to pain and numbness in the hands and fingers.

Articles On Hair Loss

Hair grows everywhere on the human skin except on places like the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet, our eyelids and belly buttons, but many hairs are so fine they’re virtually invisible. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin that is produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin. As follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are being pushed out through the surface of the skin at the rate of about six inches a year. The hair you can see is actually a string of dead keratin cells. The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day finding a few stray hairs on your hairbrush is not necessarily cause for alarm.

At any one time, about 90% of the hair on a person’s scalp is growing. Each follicle has its own life cycle that can be influenced by age, disease, and a wide variety of other factors. This life cycle is divided into three phases:

  • Anagen — active hair growth that generally lasts between two to eight years
  • Catagen — transitional hair growth that lasts two to three weeks
  • Telogen — resting phase that lasts about two to three months at the end of the resting phase the hair is shed and a new hair replaces it and the growing cycle starts again.

As people age, their rate of hair growth slows.

There are many types of hair loss, also called alopecia:

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Symptoms And Other Signs Of Hair Loss

While less hair is often the only sign of hair loss, some people develop symptoms and other signs. You may have hair loss along with:

  • Burning or stinging before sudden hair loss – Some people who have alopecia areata experience this.

  • Intense itching, burning, and tenderness where you have hair loss – If these occur, its possible that you have an infection.

  • Scaly bald patches, often with sores or blisters that open and ooze pus – This often mean you have a fungal infection on your scalp.

  • Redness, swelling, and sores that may itch and leak pus – A condition called folliculitis decalvans can cause this.

  • Scaly patches of psoriasis on your scalp – Most people who have psoriasis get it on their scalp at some time, and this can cause temporary hair loss.

The signs and symptoms that you develop depend on whats causing your hair loss.

Youll find descriptions of the many causes along with pictures of what you may see at: Hair loss: Causes.

Do you have scalp psoriasis?

If you have scalp psoriasis, you may be able to prevent further hair loss.

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia

Signs Of Hair Loss

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.

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Who Gets Alopecia Areata

Anyone can have alopecia areata. Men and women get it equally, and it affects all racial and ethnic groups. The onset can be at any age, but most people get it in their teens, twenties, or thirties. When it occurs in children younger than age 10, it tends to be more extensive and progressive.

If you have a close family member with the disease, you may have a higher risk of getting it, but for many people, there is no family history. Scientists have linked a number of genes to the disease, which suggests that genetics play a role in alopecia areata. Many of the genes they have found are important for the functioning of the immune system.

People with certain autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis, thyroid disease, or vitiligo, are more likely to get alopecia areata, as are those with allergic conditions such as hay fever.

It is possible that emotional stress or an illness can bring on alopecia areata in people who are at risk, but in most cases, there is no obvious trigger.

How Can I Prevent Hair Loss

There are a few things you can do to minimize hair loss:

  • Keep hairstyles loose. If you regularly style your hair into braids, buns, or ponytails, try to keep them loose so they dont put too much pressure on your hair.
  • Avoid touching your hair. As much as possible, try not to pull, twist, or rub your hair.
  • Pat hair dry. After washing, use a towel to gently pat your hair dry. Avoid rubbing your hair with the towel or twisting it within the towel.
  • Aim for a nutrient-rich balanced diet. Try to incorporate plenty of iron and protein into snacks and meals.

Styling products and tools are also common culprits in hair loss. Examples of products or tools that can affect hair loss include:

  • blow dryers

Recommended Reading: Which Blow Dryer Is Best For Thin Hair

Causes Of Menopausal Hair Loss

Hormonal fluctuations are the chief cause of hair loss associated with menopause. Menopause-related hair loss can occur during any of the three stages of menopause:

  • Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause. This is when hormone levels begin to fluctuate. It usually starts sometime during your 40s and can last up to 10 years.
  • Menopausebecomes official after 12 consecutive months without a period. While every woman is different, the average age of menopause in the U.S. is 52.
  • Post-menopause starts once menopause is official and continues through the end of a woman’s life.

During perimenopause, estrogen and progesterone levels begin to decline. These hormones play a role in promoting hair growth, density, and fullness. When they drop, it leads to thinning hair that doesn’t grow as quickly as before.

A decrease in progesterone and estrogen also sparks an increase in androgens. These are male hormones that are found in women in smaller amounts than in men. Androgens can cause the hair follicles on the head to shrink, resulting in a type of hair loss known as androgenic alopecia.

Eat Healthy Food To Prevent Hair Fall

Zinc Deficiency Signs & Symptoms (ex. Hair Loss, Acne, Infections) & Why They Occur

We all know that eating healthy foods can help improve our overall health, but did you know that certain foods can also help promote healthy hair? Here are five foods that are good for your hair:

Salmon Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining healthy hair. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep your hair moisturized and prevent brittle, dry hair.

Avocados Avocados are another great source of healthy fats. They also contain biotin, a vitamin that helps promote healthy hair growth.

Spinach Spinach is loaded with nutrients like iron, folate, and vitamins A and C. These nutrients will keep your hair strong and healthy.

Sweet potatoes Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A which is important for maintaining healthy hair.

Eggs Eggs are a good source of protein, which is necessary for healthy hair growth. They also contain biotin and other nutrients that are important for healthy hair.

Eating a diet that includes these five foods can help you achieve and maintain healthy hair.

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How Is Hair Loss Diagnosed

Because so many things can cause hair loss, its best to schedule an appointment with a medical professional if you notice any changes in your hair.

Theyll likely use a combination of your health history and a physical exam to help narrow down the causes.

If they suspect an autoimmune or skin condition, they might take a biopsy of the skin on your scalp. This involves carefully removing a small section of skin for laboratory testing. Its important to keep in mind that hair growth is a complex process.

They may also order blood tests to check for any nutrient deficiencies or signs of an underlying condition.

Theres a range of treatment options for hair loss, but the best option for you will depend on whats causing your hair loss.

Medications will likely be the first course of treatment.

Over-the-counter medications generally consist of topical creams, gels, solutions, or foams that you apply directly to the scalp. The most common products contain an ingredient called minoxidil.

Prescription medications, like finasteride , may help, especially for male pattern baldness. You take this medication daily to slow hair loss, though some experience new hair growth when taking finasteride.

Your clinician might prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, like corticosteroids, if hair loss seems related to an autoimmune condition.

Can We Detect Hair Loss In Its Early Stages

Identifying symptoms of hair loss in the early stages can be difficult, but one needs to only look out for any significant changes in the hairline and volume of hair. Hair thinning for most individuals typically starts around the temples.

If you notice abnormal hair loss, it is critical that you take action as soon as possible to prevent the condition from worsening.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Black Hair From Thinning

Different Kinds Of Stress Can Cause Hair Loss

If youve been under emotional or physical stress, it may lead to hair loss. Things like a death in the family, major surgery, or a serious illness may cause the body to shut down certain processes like hair production.

Theres around a three-month delay between when a stressful event happens and when you might see hair loss, so you may not pinpoint the trigger right away.

However, if you are experiencing thinner hair, consider different events or situations in your life that may have caused you considerable stress. Hair loss due to stress is generally temporary. Hair may begin growing again after the event has passed and the follicle starts producing again.

Who Is At Risk

Causes Of Hair Loss In Women

Alopecia areata has two peaks of onset one in childhood and one in adulthood though it has been reported in all ages. As with other autoimmune conditions, there is likely a genetic basis to alopecia areata with unknown triggers that result in the loss of hair. Associated conditions in the patient or family that might represent increased risk include Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Read Also: What Causes Black Women’s Hair Loss

What Is Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss that occurs in children and adults. It is non-scarring, which means that the hair follicle is not destroyed and that it has the ability to regrow hair. It is considered an autoimmune condition that results in inflammation and loss of hair. While hair is lost most commonly on the scalp, hair anywhere on the body may be affected. Alopecia areata only affects the hair and nails and does not cause any other body-wide problems.

Is There A Way To Prevent Telogen Effluvium

Unfortunately, there is no proven way to prevent or stop an episode of telogen effluvium, and it should resolve on its own with time.

However, there are a few things that may help to support overall hair health. Eat a balanced diet, and in particular, consume an adequate amount of protein . Hair is made up of primarily protein , so its no surprise that sufficient protein is vital to maintain and grow hair. Also, be sure to avoid very tight hairstyles, excessive heat styling, or chemical-based treatments, as these can contribute to hair loss or cause hair breakage.

Tending to emotional health and practicing coping strategies, like meditation, may also be helpful to reduce the impact of a stressor.

If you hair loss is chronic, patchy, or associated with redness, itching or pain, seek medical care from a dermatologist.

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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.

What Can I Do To Prevent Lupus Flare

5 At Home Solutions For Scalp Hair Loss And Hair Thinning

While lupus itself cant be prevented, you can make changes to your daily life to help avoid flare-ups of your symptoms. A few things to try can include:

  • Avoiding sun exposure: For many with lupus, sun exposure can be an issue. Try avoiding going outside during peak hours when the sun is out, wearing protective clothing and wearing sunscreen.
  • Staying in motion: Joint pain can make you want to sit down and rest, but doing low-impact exercises can actually help.
  • Maintaining healthy habits: A few habits to keep in mind include making healthy choices when it comes to your food, getting plenty of sleep and cutting back on the stress in your life. There is also a strong link between lupus and heart disease. Make sure you are working with your healthcare team to reduce your risk of heart issues.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you are experiencing the symptoms of lupus, reach out to your healthcare provider. Lupus can take a long time to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms and the way symptoms slowly build over time. Getting diagnosed is the first step to managing the condition and improving your quality of life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/19/2021.

References

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How Long Does It Take To Go Bald

If youre going bald, dont expect to see major changes overnight. Balding can happen across a span of decades and will slowly make itself present by hairline thinning and and your scalp receding hair over time.

Depending on how much your body reacts to your DHT levels, the faster or slower your rate of hair loss will be. That being said, there is no definite amount of time it will take for you to go bald.

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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.

What Are The Treatments That Help Control Hair Loss

Stopping It Before It Starts: 5 Signs Of Thinning And Hair Loss

The following treatments aid in controlling hair loss and restoring volume

  • PRP treatment increases the thickness of hair and hair count while treating patterned hair loss or baldness.
  • Dermatologists use low-level laser light therapy to stimulate hair growth and improve its density.
  • Medications such as Minoxidil and Finasteride treat pattern or hereditary baldness successfully.

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