Nonsurgical Treatments: Medications To Treat Alopecia
- Minoxidil: Slows or stops hair loss and can promote hair growth
- Finasteride: Treats male-pattern baldness by stopping the body from producing a male hormone
- Corticosteroids: Stops inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata
- Topical sensitizers: Deliberately causes an allergic reaction on the scalp that can lead to hair growth
How Can A Dermatologist Diagnose Hair Loss
If youre losing hair, visiting a medical dermatology clinic is one of the best steps you can take. A dermatologist can assess your hair loss and pinpoint a specific diagnosis. They will then find an appropriate treatment if applicable.
During your appointment, the dermatologist will ask you questions about your hair loss and overall health. Theyll ask how long youve noticed the hair loss, whether youre taking any medications, and if you have a family history of hair loss or baldness.
The doctor will also examine your nails and scalp, as the health of these areas might provide clues for diagnosis. The specific pattern of your hair loss can indicate a specific diagnosis as well. In some cases, they will perform a blood test and scalp biopsy to check for medical conditions that might cause hair to fall out.
What Can A Doctor Do For Hair Loss
Not all dermatologists specialize in hair loss, but most are capable of getting you started by determining a diagnosis. The doctor may do a biopsy, have blood work done, and can refer you to a specialist. A prescription for topical minoxidil can help, and finasteride has been proven effective for male-pattern baldness but is not safe for women since it can cause birth defects. Both medications help stimulate new growth in the hair follicle and diminish the progression of hair loss. In cases of alopecia and male-pattern baldness that become worse, it is comforting to know that hair transplants are a terrific solution. They now grow in naturally and are better than ever before.
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Hairmax Laser Hair Growth Devices
Laser combs, bands, and caps are said to stimulate hair follicle growth with low-level, laser light.
How much does a hair regrowth device cost?
There are several laser hair growth devices manufactured by HairMax. They range in price from around $200 to around $550.
The difference between each device is the number of lasers they contain. No data indicates that more lasers mean more hair growth, so keep that in mind when you buy.
These devices get mixed reviews, but most are positive. Some users say they see a real difference in hair growth. Others say that laser combs, bands, and caps are most beneficial when used in conjunction with other products, such as minoxidil or finasteride.
Hairmax Prisma 9 Lasercomb
HairMax uses a technique called low-level laser therapy to directly stimulate hair follicles to produce more and stronger hair. The scientific evidence for this treatment is sparse, but there are some studies that exist supporting it.
Its not as easy to use as some of the other treatments on this list, so thanks to this and the inconvenience of using the comb, it doesnt rank particularly highly, but its worth a shot if you want to attack your hair loss with every available tool.
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Hair Loss: Common Causes And Treatment
T. GRANT PHILLIPS, MD W. PAUL SLOMIANY, MD and ROBERT ALLISON, DO, Washington Health Systems Family Medicine Residency, Washington, Pennsylvania
Am Fam Physician. 2017 Sep 15 96:371-378.
Patient information: See related handout on hair loss.
Patients with hair loss will often consult their family physician first. Hair loss is not life threatening, but it is distressing and significantly affects the patient’s quality of life. The pattern of hair loss may be obvious, such as the bald patches that occur in alopecia areata, or more subtle, such as the diffuse hair loss that occurs in telogen effluvium. As with most conditions, the physician should begin the evaluation with a detailed history and physical examination. It is helpful to determine whether the hair loss is nonscarring , which is reversible, or scarring , which is permanent. Scarring alopecia is rare and has various etiologies, including autoimmune diseases such as discoid lupus erythematosus. If the follicular orifices are absent, the alopecia is probably scarring these patients should be referred to a dermatologist. This article will discuss approaches to nonscarring causes of alopecia.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Topical minoxidil is safe and effective for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Topical minoxidil is safe and effective for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women.
Do You Need A Hair Loss Doctor
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.
Not sure if you need a hair loss doctor? Below, weve listed the key benefits of talking to a hair loss doctor, as well as some signs you can look for to know when its time to take action and do something about your hair loss.
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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.
Causes Of Excessive Hair Loss
Improper Hair Cosmetic Use/Improper Hair Care Many men and women use chemical treatments on their hair, including dyes, tints, bleaches, straighteners, and permanent waves. These treatments rarely damage hair if they are done correctly. However, the hair can become weak and break if any of these chemicals are used too often. Hair can also break if the solution is left on too long, if two procedures are done on the same day, or if bleach is applied to previously bleached hair. If hair becomes brittle from chemical treatments, its best to stop until the hair has grown out.
Hairstyles that pull on the hair, like ponytails and braids, should not be pulled tightly and should be alternated with looser hairstyles. The constant pull causes some hair loss, especially along the sides of the scalp.
Shampooing, combing and brushing too often, can also damage hair, causing it to break. Using a cream rinse or conditioner after shampooing will make it more manageable and easier to comb. When hair is wet, it is more fragile, so vigorous rubbing with a towel, and rough combing and brushing should be avoided. Dont follow the old rule of 100 brush strokes a day that damages hair. Instead, use wide toothed combs and brushes with smooth tips.
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What Treatments Are Available
Once your dermatologist diagnoses your hair loss, they will determine whether treatment could be effective. Treatments can either help hair regrow more quickly or slow future hair loss. Keep in mind that age-related or genetic hair loss may not be reversible.
Patients who have a medical condition causing hair loss, like a thyroid issue or infection, will need to treat that condition before addressing the hair loss. In some cases, your dermatologist will refer you to a specialist for treatment. If you have a medical condition like alopecia areata, the dermatologist may prescribe medications or recommend an over-the-counter treatment.
In-office procedures can also be effective for some patients. These treatments can include corticosteroid injections, laser therapy, and platelet-rich plasma therapy. You may require repeated treatments before seeing improvement in hair growth.
Its also important to mention that your dermatologist may recommend lifestyle changes to prevent future hair loss. This may include changing your diet, as well as avoiding certain hairstyles and hair pieces.
Hair loss can be complicated, but the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend treatment. Located in Long Beach, CA and a number of other convenient locations, our medical dermatology professionals are committed to helping you look and feel your best. Contact us today to get started.
Signs You Should Get Help For Alopecia
Hair loss can be a symptom of something else going on in your body. It’s also easier to treat before you lose a lot of hair. Make an appointment with a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in hair, skin and nail problems. The doctor will examine you to find the cause of your hair loss and tell you what you can expect.
Common symptoms of alopecia include:
- Sudden loosening or shedding of hair: It may come out in handfuls when you comb or wash your hair and result in hair thinning.
- Gradual thinning of hair: Hair may recede from the forehead in men. Women may experience a widening where they part their hair. This is the most common type of hair loss.
- Balding in patches: It may affect the scalp, beard or eyebrows.
- Full-body hair loss: Loss of nose hair or eyelashes may leave you more susceptible to infections.
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Who Experiences Hair Loss
Millions of people experience hair loss. Some people see their hair re-grow without doing anything. Others need treatment for their hair to re-grow. Sometimes, hair will not re-grow.
To find out what is possible, you should see a dermatologist. These doctors specialize in treating diseases that affect the skin, hair, and nails.
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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Is Prp For Hair Loss Worth The Money
If youve explored other avenues of hair loss treatment with little success, and your provider believes youre a good candidate for PRP therapy, it may be a worthwhile investment for you. RealSelf members give PRP for hair loss an 86% Worth It Rating, so odds are good that youll be satisfied with the results you get.
While there are few studies that confirm the efficacy of this treatment option, the existing research shows that PRP injections can help treat hair loss related to aging as well as alopecia. The platelet-rich plasma stimulates dormant or inactive hair follicles, promoting growth of new strands that are thicker and healthier.
For those with only mild to moderate hair loss, the potential for keeping existing hair and possibly even promoting hair regrowth may make the cost worth it.
If you’re experiencing more advanced hair loss or advanced male pattern baldness, you might need a more invasive hair restoration procedure, like hair transplant surgery. Only an experienced provider can help determine if this treatment will be worth trying.
Interested in PRP for hair loss?
Is Prp Safe For Hair Loss
PRP has been used for its wound healing properties in several medical specialties for more than 20 years, and has been used since 2004 for hair loss treatments. The procedure is well tolerated by patients and overall very safe. More recently, studies have shown proven positive results for PRP as an effective treatment for female and male pattern hair loss.
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Importance Of Choosing The Right Doctor To Treat Hair Loss
If you live in Detroit and are seeking hair loss treatment, then the best place start your search is by speaking to your general practitioner . Theyll usually have a comprehensive understanding of your medical history, and they can run general tests that could reveal sudden physical irregularities in your system or indicate if your medications are triggering your hair loss. They should also be able to determine whether your hair loss is a natural genetic predisposition.
If your hair loss raises any concerns, your GP can refer you to other physicians who specialize in specific medical fields that are also related to hair loss. Its important to look into the problem immediately so that you can figure out whats causing your hair loss and quickly find effective treatment options. Keep in mind that doctors who treat hair loss might recommend different treatment options for different sexes depending on the cause of the issue. Certain medical conditions can have different adverse medical effects on men and women, and sometimes one of the sexes is naturally more prone to suffer certain conditions.
How Can I Prevent Hair Loss
There are things you can do to prevent further hair loss. Dont wear tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, or buns that put too much pressure on your hair. Over time, those styles permanently damage your hair follicles.
Try not to pull, twist, or rub your hair. Make sure youre eating a balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of iron and protein.
Certain beauty regimens can worsen or cause hair loss.
If youre currently losing hair, use a gentle baby shampoo to wash your hair. Unless you have extremely oily hair, consider washing your hair only every other day. Always pat the hair dry and avoid rubbing your hair.
Styling products and tools are also common culprits in hair loss. Examples of products or tools that can affect hair loss include:
- blow dryers
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