Symptoms Of Hirsutism In Women
The symptoms and signs of hirsutism depend on the underlying cause, but may include:
- a sudden change in hair colour, rate of growth, thickness or distribution
- excessive body hair in typically male areas of the body such as the face, back, abdomen, inner thighs and buttocks.
Additional symptoms may include:
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Female Hair Loss : Why It Happens And How To Treat It
Noticed your hair falling out? Whether youve spotted more hairs than normal on your pillow, in the shower drain catch or on your clothing, its easy to panic when you notice your hair thinning at a faster pace than normal.
Female pattern hair loss is the most common type of hair loss women experience.
Hair loss in women can occur for a variety of hair types and reasons. Sometimes, its triggered by changes in your hormone levels and a genetic sensitivity to certain hormones. In other cases, factors such as stress, thyroid issues , weight loss and even environmental factors can all have an effect on your hairline.
As a woman, dealing with hair loss can be difficult. Luckily, its almost always treatable using a range of safe, effective medications. Weve covered these treatment options, as well as the key reasons for female hair loss, below.
Matching Patterns Of Hair Loss To Appropriate Treatment
The task force report offers clear clinical guidance covering various presentations of hair thinning that commonly arise in women who experience hormone dysfunction. The recommendations also address approaches to identify the cause of hair loss and lead to improved diagnoses and efficacious treatment that is more targeted to a variety of hair loss problems encountered in young women.
There is a distinct difference in the androgen-excess related alopecia in women who premenopausal as opposed to the hair loss experienced during menopause, which is usually a more diffuse hair thinning that occurs more evenly across the entire scalp.2
A Closer Look at the Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Hair Thinning in Women
The guidelines committee identified multiple potential reasons for female pattern hair loss including possible molecular, inflammatory, genetic, and hormonal issues.1 Still, not everyone who is experiencing hair loss is facing other problems. Some women do present with hair loss that has no apparent or obvious reason as such, age and ethnicity, all of which play a role in who is more susceptible to excessive hormone-driven hair-thinning.1
However, you will want your doctor to take a concern about hair loss seriously, and to rule out any treatable problem as early in the process as possible. So state your case strongly, insisting if necessary, that this isnt an issue of vanity but a need to get to the root causeliterally!
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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 its less socially acceptable for them. Alopecia can severely affect a womans emotional well-being and quality of life.
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. Its 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 M 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 womans 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, its 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.
Is Hair Loss Related To Menopause
Two things can happen to a womans hair during menopause. First, and certainly unwelcome, is the growth of new hair where you didnt have it before, such as the chin. Second, the hair you have will begin to thin. Its thought that both of these changes in hair growth are due to changing hormone levels during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone levels fall, meaning that the effects of the androgens are increased. This is the reason for new hair in odd places.
The aging process often causes female-pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss can worsen with the hormone changes of menopause. Unlike male-pattern hair loss, which occurs usually on the front crown of the head, female-pattern hair loss begins along the part in the center.
During and after menopause, hair might become finer because the hair follicles shrink. When this happens, hair grows more slowly and falls out more easily.
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Now You Know What Hormone Causes Hair Loss
Knowing what hormone causes hair loss can help you understand why youre losing your hair. If youre taking medications that could alter your hormonal levels, you may want to be mindful of your hair.
Hormonal changes dont automatically mean that youll experience hair loss, but its a side effect to be aware of.
If youre concerned about potential hair loss, be sure to discuss your concerns with your doctor. They may be able to provide you with vitamins or supplements to offset any potential hair loss. Its always better to be safe than sorry!
And if you want to learn about other topics related to your health, be sure to check out the other articles on our blog. Youll love our other articles!
Structure Of The Hair Follicle
Hair is a filament consisting mainly of dead, keratinized cells. The hair structure consists of two parts: the hair follicle and the hair shaft .
Structure of the hair: hair follicle and hair shaft .
The structure of the hair follicle can be divided into the upper and the lower parts. The upper part includes the infundibulum and isthmus, and the lower part is referred to as the bulb and suprabulbar region. The hair bulb is built by the dermal papilla and the hair matrix . The follicles of scalp hair are anchored in the subcutis, and they undergo repetitive growth cycles .
The hair shaft is divided into three layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The medulla is the outermost part of the hair which is visible above the skin. It is surrounded by a protective layer called the root sheath. The root sheath consists of two strata: the inner and the outer.
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Expanding Treatments For Androgen
Treatment for female pattern hair loss is presented in two forms: topical and systemic, most of which are directed to reduce production of excess androgens .2
In selecting a treatment, your doctor will first make a determination of whether or not the hair follicles remain open is necessary. If your hair follicles are still active, then hair regrowth is possible using one of several effective treatments, depending on the circumstances of the particular patient.1
Possible treatments include starting with topical minoxidil, anti-androgen medications, or finasteride (although this one has had mixed results. Other options which have proved successful include oral contraceptives and medications like spironolactone-a diuretic that has anti-androgen properties, and flutamidewhich while useful has the potential to cause liver toxicity.
Alternatively, there are treatments that have less evidence of success such as low-level laser therapy and microneedling, that may be done in an effort to increase absorption of topical medications, platelet rich plasma therapy, and topical ketoconazolean antifungal medication that is often used in male pattern baldness.
Even melatonin has been suggested for some women. Hair transplantation is also an option when the hair loss becomes significant and unresponsive to medical therapies.
Dhts Connection To Balding
Hair everywhere on your body grows out of structures underneath your skin known as follicles, which are essentially tiny capsules that each contain a single strand of hair.
The hair within a follicle typically goes through a growth cycle that lasts about two to six years. Even if you shave or cut your hair, the same hair will grow back out of the follicle from the root of the hair contained within the follicle.
At the end of this cycle, the hair enters whats known as a resting phase before finally falling out a few months later. Then, the follicle produces a new hair, and the cycle begins again.
High levels of androgens, including DHT, can shrink your hair follicles as well as shorten this cycle, causing hair to grow out looking thinner and more brittle, as well as fall out faster. DHT can also make it take longer for your follicles to grow new hairs once old hairs fall out.
Some people are more susceptible to these effects of DHT on scalp hair based on variations in their androgen receptor gene. Androgen receptors are proteins that allow hormones like testosterone and DHT to bind to them. This binding activity typically results in normal hormonal processes like body hair growth.
But variations in the AR gene can increase androgen receptivity in your scalp follicles, making you more likely to experience male pattern hair loss.
proven to work by specifically targeting DHT production and receptor binding. There are two main types:
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Hormonal Changes And Medical Conditions
Hormonal changes and medical conditions also attribute to what can cause hair loss. Hair loss causes such as medical and hormonal changes can cause either temporary hair loss in men or women. Hair loss in women due to these reasons can be caused by hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid problems. Hair loss causes due to medical conditions such as alopecia areata can cause patchy hair loss, as well as scalp infections or even hair-pulling disorders such as trichotillomania. Additionally, hair loss has also been observed in individuals facing highly stressful lifestyles, although this form of hair loss is often temporary.
Can You Grow Back Your Hair
If you are experiencing hair loss from a hormonal imbalance, that doesnt mean you are doomed forever. In fact, there are many ways you can restore your hair loss and enjoy even healthier hair than before.
1. Get your hormones in check
Before you even think about hair growth vitamins or a laser hair regrowth cap, you should connect with your health care provider to get support to level out your hormones.
While postpartum hair loss will taper off once your hormones regulate, conditions like hypothyroidism might require medication or other medical intervention to level out your hormones.
2. Live a healthy lifestyle
That whole you are what you eat statement applies here. Eating healthy foods, working out, and cutting back on drinking and smoking will allow your body the foundation it needs to help grow back your hair.
Some of the best foods for hair loss include eggs, avocados, greens, beans, berries, and greek yogurt. Also, fitting in some daily exercise is a great way to improve blood circulation, which in turn makes your scalp pretty happy.
3. Manage your stress
Stress is another common cause of hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium. When we leave our stress levels unchecked, hair loss can typically become the outcome.
While stress relief looks different for everyone, making sure you work to manage your stress will support those #hairgoals of yours. If you dont know where to start, some popular ways to destress include:
- Taking yoga classes
4. Try out LLLT
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How Is Hair Loss In Women Treated What Medicines Or Supplements May Help
Treatment depends on the cause of your hair loss.
- In cases where the loss is due to stress or hormone changes like pregnancy, there might be no treatment needed. The hair loss will stop after a period of time.
- In cases of hair loss being due to hair styling practices, like tight braids or ponytails or certain chemicals, treatment means not doing the things that caused the damage.
- In cases due to nutritional deficiencies, you might be told to take supplements. For instance, you might be told to take a multivitamin and three to five milligrams of biotin daily.
- Minoxidil is approved for treating FPHL. The 2% or 5% solution can be purchased in stores. However, you have to follow directions exactly and use the product indefinitely. Dont use this product if youre pregnant, if you plan to get pregnant, or if youre breastfeeding.
- The HairMax Lasercomb® low light laser is approved by the US FDA to treat FPHL. Another FDA-approved laser product is the Theradome LH80 PRO® helmet and low light laser helmets and caps.
Other medications that have been studied, but not approved, for hair loss in women include:
- Spironolactone and other anti-androgens.
- Other light treatments.
It is important to note that premenopausal women should not take medications for hair loss treatment without using contraception. Many drugs, including minoxidil and finasteride, are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.
Are Bioidentical Hormones Safe
Many doctors and researchers agree that bioidentical hormones, when used in smaller doses, carry little substantial risk. The risks also depend on how, and with what, the hormones are made. But some of the side effects of bioidentical hormone therapy include increased risks of cancer, stroke, and heart attack. If you are considering using bioidentical hormone therapy as a treatment for your menopause symptoms, such as hair loss, you must first consult with your doctor to establish if it is the right move for you.
Want to learn more? Click on the following link about other alternatives to bioidentical hormones.
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What Is The Relationship Between Hair Loss In Women And Menopause
During menopause, you might see one of two things happen with your hair. You might start growing hair where you didnt before. Or, you might see the hair you have start to thin. One cause may be changing levels of hormones during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone levels fall, meaning that the effects of the androgens, male hormones, are increased.
During and after menopause, hair might become finer because hair follicles shrink. Hair grows more slowly and falls out more easily in these cases.
Your healthcare provider will do a thorough examination and take a detailed history to help you deal with changes in hair growth. You may be directed to have your iron levels or thyroid hormone levels tested. Your medications might be changed if what you take is found to affect hair loss or growth.