What Is Male Pattern Baldness
Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern hair loss, is the most common type of hair loss. It is hereditary and can begin anytime after puberty.
The prevalence of male pattern hair loss increases with age, so while its possible to begin seeing hair thinning in your 20s or 30s, the likelihood youll experience it goes up with each .
In men, androgenic alopecia follows a predictable pattern, hence the name male pattern hair loss. It generally begins as thinning around the temples, spreading backwards across the head, and thinning at the crown, spreading outwards in a circle.
Diagnosing androgenetic alopecia is generally a matter of examining the scalp for that predictable pattern, noting it has a gradual onset, and asking about your family history of hair loss.
What Types Of Physicians Can Treat Alopecia
In truth, there are a few different types of physicians who might be able to provide a basic alopecia, or hair loss, diagnosis. The following professionals typically encounter patients who suffer with thinning, shedding, or balding hair.
Hair Stylists are among the first professionals to notice signs of hair loss. While these individuals are not licensed medical professionals, they can help you determine whether or not certain hard-to-see areas are receding, losing volume, or becoming thinner. It is recommended that you see a licensed medical professional if a stylist or hairdresser notices such signs.
Trichologists are professionals who have studied trichology, or the health of the hair and scalp. Not all trichologists are licensed medical professionals, however. For effective hair loss treatment, we recommend patients choose a hair loss clinic and/or licensed medical professional to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Endocrinologists are licensed medical professionals who specialize in the endocrine system, hormones, and the diseases that result from hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance can often cause hair loss, so it is common for this type of physician to see patients who suffer with thinning, shedding, or balding. They do not specialize in hair restoration, however.
Healthy Hair And Hair Loss: The Basics
Before we get into the details, lets take a deep breath and remember that some hair loss is actually perfectly normal, every day.
The average person, for instance, has about 100,000 follicles of hair just on her head, and they will typically expect to lose 100 strands or more from normal hair loss every day.
This so-called normal hair loss is really just part of your hairs three follicle life cycle phases, consisting of the anagen phase, catagen phase and the final telogen phase.
Hair growth as we know it happens in the first, anagen phase, during which time about 90 percent of your follicles are actively growing longer.
The catagen phase comes next this signals the beginning of the end for those active follicles, which leads into that death-y telogen resting phase.
This is where the hair falls out and the follicle itself rests until such a time as it starts the cycle all over again.
So to sum it all up, normal hair is actually only about 90 percent of your total potential growing capacity, with about 10 percent of your living follicles resting at any one given time.
So hair loss, then, is simply what happens when this delicate balance becomes unbalanced.
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Causes And Symptoms Of Alopecia
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes you to lose hair and often leaves little bald spots on your head. Our hair is made up of mostly protein. When our body does not have enough protein, the hairs enter the resting phase. This causes us to lose hair and hair to become brittle and fall out. Alopecia is both hereditary and hormonal. It affects both males and females and can happen at any age. There are many causes related to alopecia. Causes include severe or chronic illness, thyroid disease, low-protein diets, low iron levels and improper hair care. It is also common after childbirth. If hair loss occurs, the hairs may enter a resting phase and are lost without immediate replacement. It could last up to nine months but should resolve itself without treatment. This also may be the case if you have a chronic illness.
Alopecia occurs when hair follicles are attacked by your own body, causing clumps of hair to fall out. While rare, there is a potential to lose all the hair on your head and/or on your entire body. Males are more likely to lose all their hair while women mostly experience thinning. Sometimes the hair grows back for good and other times it grows back and then falls out again shortly after. Unfortunately, alopecia is not curable, but can and should be treated by a dermatologist. During diagnosis, a skin biopsy may be performed and examined to properly diagnose the alopecia.
What Causes Hair Loss
Many instances of hair loss are linked to genetics. If you have a family history of hair loss or balding, you may be more likely to experience these issues with age. Hair loss can also occur due to changes in hormones, particularly during pregnancy and menopause, and because of any thyroid issues. Stress may play a factor in hair loss as well.
Medical conditions and medications have been linked to certain types of hair loss. Alopecia areata, for example, is a common condition that causes hair loss in patches. Infections can have a similar effect. If youre taking medications for conditions like depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure, hair loss could be a side effect. So, its important to talk to your doctor about any concerns. Hair loss is a common side effect for cancer drugs like chemotherapy, as well as cancer treatments like radiation to the head region.
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Trust Your Dermatologist With Your Hair Loss Concerns
So can a dermatologist help with hair loss? The answer is a resounding yes. With a range of medical and in-office procedures available, your dermatologist will be able to improve your hair. The first step is to visit your dermatologist to comprehensively review your hair and any skin concerns.
At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, we pride ourselves in truly understanding the struggles of your hair.
Our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Rodney, has extensive knowledge of the reasons behind hair loss. From there, her deep understanding will translate to an effective, long-term method to bringing your hair loss under control.
To start your hair-growth journey, schedule a consultation with Eternal Dermatology. Were conveniently located in Fulton, MD, and serve patients in Columbia, Silver Springs, Howard County, Baltimore, Washington DC and surrounding areas.
There are a few ways you can connect with us:
- Book an appointment directly on our website.
- You can also request a consultation by clicking the link at the bottom of our homepage.
- Call or email us via our Contact Page.
With your dermatologists help, hair loss does not need to be an inevitable part of life.
Should I See A Dermatologist Or Hair Restoration Surgeon
This blog is still pretty new, and Ive already received this question a number of times from readers.
A few of my readers have received hair loss misdiagnoses from doctors theyve also received some peculiar recommendations.
Ultimately, I dont think title matters here. You want to visit the best, most experienced doctor in your area who specializes in hair loss and whether that doctor is a hair restoration surgeon or a dermatologist is largely irrelevant.
That said, there are pros and cons to seeing a dermatologist, just like there are pros and cons to seeing a surgeon. In this post, Ill review the advantages and disadvantages in each case, and hopefully help you determine which doctor is the best fit for you. Lets begin.
Medically reviewed by Patrick Carroll, MD
If youve noticed your hairline starting to recede or your hair beginning to thin, one of the most important steps you can take in stopping any further hair loss is getting in touch with a hair loss doctor.
Hair loss can start as early as your teens, and some men experience the early signs of male pattern baldness in their 20s or 30s. The point is, with baldness, the earlier you take action and seek treatment, the more of your hair youll be able to keep.
Luckily, almost all male hair loss is treatable today. A hair loss doctor can work with you to find out whats causing your hair loss and put together a hair loss prevention protocol that helps you minimize further loss and keep as much of your hair as possible.
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Why You Need A Dermatologist For Hair Loss Not A Trichologist
11 Mar 2020
If you are looking for the right person to treat your hair loss its important to know the facts so that you get the very best treatment available. Hair loss can be caused by a whole range of conditions, such as alopecia areata, many different autoimmune diseases, anaemia, thyroid disorders, traction, and baldness. While it can potentially be caused by one of these disorders, female hair loss can also occur as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome after pregnancy and during menopause.
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.
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What About A Trichologist
While a trichologist is defined as a hair and scalp specialist, they are more of a bridge between cosmetology and dermatology than their own field. They are generally educated and trained in life sciences and will look at hair loss problems in a holistic way by evaluating their clients’ personal history, lifestyle, genetic factors, and environmental conditions.
Depending on the situation, a trichologist may suggest an individualized treatment, give nutritional advice, and recommend lifestyle changes in order to improve the overall health and appearance of the hair and the scalp.
However, this profession is considered to be para-medical in nature, meaning that they assist physicians and doctors and have not received the same level of education themselves. While a trichologist may work with your doctor to figure out a possible treatment for your hair loss, they can not prescribe medications.
What To Expect At The Trichologist
When you visit a trichologist, you can expect a thorough examination of your hair and scalp.
The trichologist may ask you several questions about your medical history, nutrition, lifestyle, and hair care routine. Your answers can help the trichologist determine how to treat you or whether they should refer you to a different specialist or to a physician.
Occasionally, trichologists will request a blood test from your primary care physician.
Once the trichologist arrives at a diagnosis, they will recommend the next best step. This could include:
- A referral to another professional, specialist, or primary care physician
- Topical creams or lotions
- A mental healthcare professional if your condition seems stress-related
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Noticeable Hair Loss In Women Can Be Deeply Distressing Here Are Some Medical Treatments That May Help
About one-third of women experience hair loss at some time in their lives among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots. Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does on men w, because itâs less socially acceptable for them. Alopecia can severely affect a womanâs emotional well-being and quality of life.
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. Itâs called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic âMâ shape hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A womanâs hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
There are many potential causes of hair loss in women , including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, itâs important to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may also want to ask your clinician for a referral to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties. Hair loss in women can be frustrating, but recent years have seen an increase in resources for coping with the problem.
How Is Alopecia Diagnosed
The Aesthetic and Clinical Dermatology Associates team begins by examining your hair and doing routine health checks. They ask about your medical and family histories, diet, and how you groom your hair.
You might need to undergo some tests to confirm the cause of your alopecia. Blood tests can help detect diseases like thyroid disorders that can cause hair loss. Your provider might also do a scalp biopsy, taking skin samples or hair with roots for lab analysis. Light microscopy can identify hair shaft disorders.
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How Common Is Hair Loss In Women
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
How Is Hair Loss Treated
Talking about hair loss, there are some lifestyle changes that you can make in order to improve your hair loss. As for your dermatologist, he/she can prescribe drugs or recommend some over-the-counter drugs to help treat your case of hair loss. Scalp injections might be required as well. Scalp injections are one of the most commonly used treatments that dermatologists prescribe for hair loss. You and your doctor can also discuss the possibility of hair transplant if there is a severe hair loss going on.
Remember It all comes back to the reason that has been causing you to lose hair rapidly. If it is stress that has been causing your hair loss, managing your stress levels will do some good. If it is a thyroid issue, treating it usually results with an improvement in your hair loss. As soon as that reason is discovered, you can proceed to exercise, improve your diet, and use all of the tips and treatments that your dermatologist has recommended.
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