Different Types Of Alopecia
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, and there are two main types: alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. Alopecia may cause hair loss only on the scalp or all over the body. It may result in thinning hair, patches of hair loss, some balding, or total baldness, and it may be permanent or temporary. There are numerous causes, including genetics. Talk to your doctor about possible treatments.
Premature Gray Hair Is Genetic
Going gray isn’t always related to aging. If you’re not yet 40 and see more than a few gray hairs, chances are it runs in your family. Gray usually isn’t a sign of poor health, though anemia, thyroid issues, vitamin B12 deficiency, and vitiligo can cause premature graying. You can highlight or color hair to cover the gray, but beware: Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in dyes. The result could be an itchy, burning scalp.
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.
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What Specific Treatments Are There For Hair Loss In Women
Female hair loss treatments include minoxidil , hair transplants, hair-powder fibers like Toppik, wigs, hair extensions, and weaves.
- Minoxidil is available over the counter and available in 2%, 4%, and 5% concentrations. It may be something of a nuisance to apply twice daily, but it has been shown to help conserve hair and may even grow some. Minoxidil tends to grow very fine small hairs wherever it is applied. It is important to avoid running the liquid onto the face or neck where it can also grow hair. It is marketed for women at the 2% concentration but may be used in higher strengths as directed by a doctor.
- Surgical procedures like hair transplants can be useful for some women as well as men to “fill in” thinned-out areas.
Other Health Problems That Affect The Scalp
Other health problems that affect the scalp include the following:
- Lice are small insects that infest the hair and scalp.
- Head trauma can refer to any accident that causes skull fractures or cuts on the scalp.
- Temporal arteritis occurs when arteries that supply the head with blood are inflamed or damaged. It results in a sensitive scalp.
The exact cause of certain scalp conditions is often unknown, or multiple causes are involved, possibly due to genetics.
- hair loss or hair thinning
- weak hair and breakages
For other conditions, your healthcare provider or a specialist may need to order other tests. You may need to have a sample of blood drawn, for instance, to test for hormone levels and to determine if a thyroid or pituitary problem is to blame, or to detect a nutritional deficiency.
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Crash Diets Are Dangerous
Crash diets and fad diets promise quick weight loss, but most do not work and can be dangerous. If you lose 15 pounds or more very quickly, you may lose a significant amount of hair within a matter of months. Inadequate protein and nutrients is one of the potential reasons for hair loss in women. Stick to a healthy, balanced eating plan. Fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and complex carbs give your body the fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals you need to maintain a healthy body, including a full head of hair. Other dietary risk factors for hair loss? Excess vitamin A may set the stage for your luscious locks to fall out.
What Is Hair Loss
Alopecia can affect just your scalp or your entire body, Although alopecia is more prevalent in older adults, excessive hair loss can occur in children as well. Alopecia can be temporary or permanent. Alopecia can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or a normal part of aging. Anyone can lose hair on their head, but hair loss is more common in men.
Its normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. With about 100,000 hairs on your head, that small loss isnt noticeable.
New hair normally replaces the lost hair, but this doesnt always happen. Hair fall can develop gradually over years or happen abruptly. Hair fall can be permanent or temporary.
Its impossible to count the amount of hair lost on a given day. You may be losing more hair than is normal if you notice a large amount of hair in the drain after washing your hair or clumps of hair in your brush. You might also notice thinning patches of hair or baldness.
If you notice that youre losing more hair than usual, you should discuss the problem with your doctor. They can determine the underlying cause of your hair loss and suggest appropriate treatment plans.
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How Dermatologist Treat Hair Loss
The dermatologist will examine your scalp and hair and ask you a wide variety of questions regarding your health history that may provide clues as to why you are experiencing hair loss. An accurate diagnosis will ensure that the exact cause of your hair loss is being addressed. In some cases, changing hair products may be all you need to stop hair loss.
There are many treatments available to slow and/or restore hair loss. Over-the-counter medications such as minoxidil is generally a first-line treatment. Prescription medicine is available in pill form to treat hair loss in men.
Discover The Underlying Cause
It seems as if there are so many things that can cause a tingling or burning scalp. This is why you must work through the list of possible causes and narrow down the potential culprits.
The first step is to consider the potential for dermatological conditions as these can be the easiest to rule out.
If you dont otherwise show symptoms of scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, for example, then these conditions are unlikely to be the cause of your burning scalp.
Now how about chemical irritants?
If youve been using a shampoo or hair product for years with no issues, then you may think to rule it out immediately. Its possible to develop sensitivities to ingredients over time, however. Its also not uncommon for brands to change their formulations. As such, you should take a look at the ingredients list.
Do you notice any new or troublesome ingredients ? If so, then you may want to try a product without those ingredients to attempt to rule them out.
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How To Treat And Prevent Hair Loss
If you have a skin condition that causes your scalp to become inflamed, the most effective way to prevent hair loss is to talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you notice symptoms.
Its particularly important to talk to your healthcare provider if your scalp feels uncomfortable or painful, or if you already have noticeable shedding and hair loss.
Your healthcare provider will examine your scalp to determine the cause of your inflammation and/or hair loss. They may need to take a sample of skin from your scalp for testing to identify the specific condition thats affecting your skin.
Most conditions that cause scalp inflammation can be treated using a combination of personal care products and/or medications. You may need to use:
Medicated shampoos, bath solutions or other personal care products
Topical medications to treat inflammation, itching and other symptoms
Topical antibiotics or antifungal medications
Oral antibiotics or antifungal medications
Moisturizer or lotion to treat dryness
Make sure to closely follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider and use your medication for the full treatment period, even if your symptoms appear to improve quickly.
If youve shed hair because of scalp inflammation, it should begin to grow back after you treat the underlying cause of the inflammation. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider to find out what you can do to keep your hair healthy while you recover.
Reasons Your Scalp Itches And How To Get Relief
When your scalp itches, it can be difficult to think about anything else. You may feel that the itch will never stop, but relief is possible. Getting rid of the itch begins with finding out why your scalp itches. Here are 10 reasons for an itchy scalp along with dermatologists advice on what can bring relief.
Dandruff. If your scalp is dry and itchy and you see flakes on your hair or clothing, you may have dandruff.
How to get relief: If you have dandruff, using a dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments can help. You can find out how to get the best results from these products by watching the short video, How to treat dandruff.
Dandruff often causes visible flakes on the scalp.
Hives. These are red, raised, and very itchy bumps that can form anywhere on the skin, including the scalp. Hives tend to come and go within a few hours. Sometimes, hives go away and come back. If hives come and go for longer than 6 weeks, theyre called chronic hives.How to get relief: Hives often go away on their own, but if theyre long-lasting, treatment can help. Dermatologists frequently treat hives.
When hives form on the scalp, you’ll often have a rash of itchy red bumps that look like the ones shown here.
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Is The Loss Of Hair Preventable
If you have a scalp condition, treating it is the only way to prevent hair loss. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, its not possible to 100% prevent the loss of hair. People get different conditions for different reasons. There are also extra circumstances that can cause hair loss.
You may not be able to prevent this problem altogether. But, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to lessen your chances of hair loss for any reason.
These tips are useful for both men and women who are experiencing hair thinning or loss:
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- What is the cause of my hair loss?
- How many strands of hair am I losing per day?
- What type of hair loss do I have?
- Will my hair loss be permanent?
- Whats the best treatment for me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hair loss may cause you distress whether it happens because of genetics, a disease, or even stress. Know that there are some treatments you can try, and expert dermatologists are there to help you. Your hair loss may be able to be reversed. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice something wrong because the sooner you start treatment, the better.
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Emotional Stress And Your Hair
When you’re dealing with a life-altering event, like a divorce or break-up, bankruptcy or other financial problems, the loss of a home, or the death of a loved one, significant emotional stress can also disrupt the normal cycle of hair growth. Significant emotional stressors can cause temporary hair loss, but once stress is brought under control, normal hair growth is usually restored.
Can Scalp Conditions Be Controlled
If you have a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, there is no way to get rid of it completely. This might seem unnerving at first. After all, you cant think about much else besides constantly wishing they werent there.
Thankfully, almost every type of scalp/skin condition is manageable. They may not all be curable, but there is no reason they should dictate your life. When it comes to certain skin conditions, this is true. Eating a proper diet, staying healthy, and taking care of your skin with the right over-the-counter products is the best thing you can do. Even people with serious scalp conditions dont experience flare-ups regularly with proper care.
Refer to this guide if youre worried you might have a scalp condition. It may be readily treatable. Some of these problems go away on their own. Others are easy to manage and get rid of. You dont have to deal with an itchy and irritated scalp forever. And, in most cases, any hair loss caused by the conditions listed here will be temporary.
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Treatments For Scalp Conditions
Treatment for scalp conditions varies depending on the diagnosis.
Prescription medications are available to help treat hair loss. Surgical implants of hair transplants are also possible. In some cases, the underlying cause of hair loss can be treated.
Supplements or dietary changes can correct nutritional deficiencies.
Medications can treat autoimmune disorders and hormone disorders.
You can treat celiac disease by avoiding gluten in your diet.
Medicated ointments and washes that kill fungi or certain insects can cure certain infections, such as ringworm and lice.
You can treat seborrheic eczema and cradle cap with medicated shampoos.
Ito syndrome and scleroderma arent curable, but you can manage the symptoms with medications.
The Scalp In Health And Disease
The scalp is the anatomical area bordered by the face at the front and by the neck at the sides and back. It is characterized by a usually high density of terminal hair growth with numerous sebaceous glands that contribute to a specific microenvironment with significant differences from the rest of the skin. The scalp is a rich environment for microbes. Ecologically, sebaceous areas have greater species richness than dry ones, with implications both for skin physiology and pathologic conditions. Specifically, dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and ultimately alopecia represent pathologic conditions, in which oxidative stress is very commonly detected. Quantitation of lipid peroxidation is a particularly prevalent method in dermatology to detect the underlying oxidative stress.
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