Hair Loss Due To Medications
Hair loss is a side effect of a number of medications taken for common health problems. Blood-thinning medications, oral contraceptives, drugs for depression, NSAIDs, and beta and calcium channel blockers can all lead to thinning hair or baldness. Too much vitamin A and vitamin A-based drugs called retinoids can cause hair loss as well. Some chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer are known to cause total hair loss as they work to destroy cancer cells. Just as hair usually grows back after chemo, it should also grow back once you stop taking any medication that causes hair loss.
Dandruff And Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dandruff is a very common condition, affecting as much as one-half of the general population .
We all lose skin cells on our scalp all the time as a result of the natural cell lifecycle. In dandruff, however, these cells retain a high degree of cohesion and fall off in large chunks. These are the white flakes that are the hallmark of the condition.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a related condition that is generally milder than dandruff and can appear in areas outside the scalp, like the face and chest .
Neither of these conditions leads to alopecia in and of themselves. Over time, the constant itching and inflammation associated with them can certainly lead to hair thinning and balding. If these symptoms are more prevalent on one particular area of the scalp, this could potentially lead to uneven hair thinning.
Temporary Hair Loss Is Normal After A Fever Or Illness
Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss.
While many people think of this as hair loss, its actually hair shedding. The medical name for this type of hair shedding is telogen effluvium. It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding phase of the hair growth lifecycle at the same time. A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase.
Most people see noticeable hair shedding two to three months after having a fever or illness. Handfuls of hair can come out when you shower or brush your hair. This hair shedding can last for six to nine months before it stops. Most people then see their hair start to look normal again and stop shedding.
Telogen effluvium causes noticeable hair shedding
Telogen effluvium causes noticeable hair shedding, but thats all you should experience. If you have a rash, itchy scalp, or burning, something other than telogen effluvium is likely causing your hair loss, and its time to see a dermatologist.
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Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata
The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss that occurs in small, round patches on your head. This leaves smooth, peach-colored areas of scalp exposed. A mild case of alopecia areata starts with one to two coin-size hairless patches. In many instances, it stops after that. Sometimes, the hair will grow back. However, theres no guarantee. The condition is unpredictable, and the cycle of hair loss and regrowth can repeat itself.
Alopecia areata can grow into another form of alopecia. In its worst form, alopecia universalis causes you to lose all body hair. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes, arms, legs, underarms, pubic, and chest and back hair for men. Rarely, people who have alopecia may feel burning or itching in the areas where they once had hair.
Some people with alopecia areata see changes in their fingernails and toenails. Nails can have tiny dents , have white spots or lines, and be rough.
What About Pregnancy Hair Loss
Pregnancy may cause many changes in the scalp hair. As the hormones fluctuate during pregnancy, a large number of women feel their hair thickens and becomes fuller.
- This may be related to a change in the number of hairs cycling in the growth phase of hair growth, but the exact reason is unknown.
- Quite often, there may be a loss of hair after delivery or a few months later which will eventually normalize.
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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.
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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Pandemic Hair Loss The Best New Treatments For Growing Luscious Locks
She also advises patients not to get their hair colored or wear it in braids anything that adds stress to tresses. And, Green said, I tell them not to get a haircut because it might feel like you have less hair.
As for special shampoos and conditioners that claim to curb hair loss, Green said shes skeptical.
Im not convinced a shampoo or conditioner can grow back hair. Its not something you leave on your scalp long enough to make a difference, said Green, adding that serums, including Pureauty biotin hair serum could be more effective because theyre designed to stay on longer.
When it comes to more stubborn cases, she might suggests investing in a scalp-stimulating LaserCap, which uses Food and Drug Administration-cleared Low-Level-Laser Therapy, starts at about $1,000, and can be ordered through a physician.
If none of these treatments do the trick, Green will call in blood work to rule out hormonal changes. Shell also ask patients to collect strands of their hair over 24 hours, which shell send to a lab to test for autoimmune diseases, such as lupus.
But, Green said, patients need to be patient. It takes three months for a hair follicle to grow back, so you wont notice a difference for four to five months.
Some are looking beyond the dermatologist office for help. Sarah, a 38-year-old mother of two living in New York City, was losing her locks in large clumps. My cleaning lady even commented on all the hair she found on the bathroom floor, she recalled.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Hair Loss
It can be hard to tell if youre losing hair especially if your hair loss happens gradually.
Instead, you may notice that your ponytails dont feel as thick, or that your scalp is more visible.
If youre unsure, ask your stylist if they have noticed any differences. This is especially important for women who are experiencing hair loss in areas that are difficult to see without someone elses help, such as the top of the scalp.
If you or your stylist suspect hair loss, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Generally, the sooner you act, the more hair you can save.
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What Is Traction Alopecia
This is a small or localized hair loss area caused by repetitive or persistent pulling or traction on hair roots.
- Tight braids and ponytails can pull hard enough on hairs to make them fall out. If this happens, it’s best to choose hairstyles that put less tension on the hair.
- Doing this sooner helps to avoid permanent damage.
How Long Does It Take To Go Bald
Going bald isnt something that happens overnight. For most men, hair loss develops gradually over the course of years and decades, with your hairline steadily receding and the hair on your scalp slowly getting thinner.
Theres no specific amount of time that it takes to go bald. Depending on your sensitivity to the effects of DHT, you may notice rapid hair shedding or slow but steady hair loss.
Regardless of how rapidly or slowly youre going bald, its important to treat hair loss as quickly as you can to protect your hair and prevent it from worsening.
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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.
Diet Deficiencies: Your Hair Is What You Eat
The essential vitamins and nutrients, like protein, that you get from a healthy, varied, and well-balanced diet ensure good health all throughout your body, making sure all your organs and internal systems are working just as they should. Poor nutrition or following a severely restrictive crash or fad diet can lead to all kinds of nutrient deficiencies, which in turn can result in hair loss, from thinning hair to patches of baldness.
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Treatment For Other Causes Of Hair Loss
If a disease, medicine, or stress is the cause of hair loss, then treating the disease, changing medicines, or managing stress may stop the hair loss. And your hair is likely to grow back. For example, if an underactive thyroid is causing the problem, taking thyroid medicine may help. And most hair lost during chemotherapy will grow back after the treatment ends.
If alopecia areata is the cause of hair loss, medicines such as corticosteroids can be used to treat it. But because hair often grows back within a year, you may decide not to have treatment. Understanding the come-and-go nature of hair loss with this condition can help you make the best treatment decision. Children and teens may need counseling to help them adjust to the hair loss.
Infections That Cause Hair Loss
A number of infections and illnesses can lead to hair loss. An infection that causes a high fever, a fungal skin infection, and bacterial infections like syphilis can all be responsible for balding or thinning hair. Treating the underlying infection can restore hair growth and prevent future hair loss. So your first step is to seek medical attention for the primary health problem.
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Why Am I Having Hair Loss On My Arms
Hair loss can be a worry for everyone, and its so easy to simply think about hair loss only happening on the scalp but hair loss can happen all over the body for a number of different reasons.
Today, were discussing hair loss on the arms and why this is something you might be experiencing.
What Vitamins Are Good For Hair Loss Are There Home Remedies For Hair Loss
A good daily multivitamin containing zinc, vitamin B, folate, iron, and calcium is a reasonable choice, although there is no good evidence that vitamins have any meaningful benefit in alopecia.
- Newer studies suggest that vitamin D may be somewhat helpful and worth considering.
- Specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies like iron or vitamin B12 may be diagnosed by blood tests and treated.
Multiple vitamins, including
- biotin has been promoted for hair growth, but solid scientific studies for many of these claims are lacking. While taking biotin and other supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nails probably won’t worsen anything, it may also not necessarily help the situation. Therefore, advertised hair-regrowth supplements should be approached with mild caution.
- There is only anecdotal evidence that oral or topical application of garlic, onion juice, saw palmetto, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, apple cider vinegar, creatine, and pumpkin seed oil are of benefit for hair loss.
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Treat The Issue At Its Source
After you have identified the cause of the one-sided hair loss, the next step is to take the appropriate action.
For alopecia areata, there is currently no FDA-approved medical treatment. Many doctors prescribe minoxidil off-label, with mixed results. There are also a number of natural treatments you can try. Onion juice is one such treatment, as is ginseng.
The most effective treatment for trichotillomania is behavioral therapy, but this may be a costly and not easily accessible option for some people. Another treatment option is pharmacotherapy with antidepressants, though you will need to work with your doctor or a psychiatrist.
For chronic dandruff, there are many over-the-counter medications and shampoos. Most of them, like ketoconazole, are available without a prescription. There are also various practical steps you can take, such as avoiding the excessing use of hair styling products and getting moderate sun exposure.
In the rare event that your one-sided hair loss is due to a rare condition like tinea capitis or lichen planus, a dermatologist will prescribe the best course of treatment.