How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
What Are Some Tips For Dealing With Hair Loss In Women
There are some things you can do on your own. You might check with your stylist or try some of these:
- Coloring your hair adds volume to the strands, making your hair seem fuller.
- Massaging your head, like when you are washing your hair, can stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Getting your hair cut shorter, and having layers added, can make your hair seem fuller.
- Using the right kind of shampoo can also help. Look for a shampoo that adds volume without using sulfate detergents.
- Using the right kind of product at the right time can also help. There are products that add volume that you add while your hair is still wet. However, using too much product can add weight.
Other Medical Hair Loss Treatment Options
In addition to Rogaine , there are other medical/topical treatment options that can help slow down your hair loss and help to improve hair growth.
Finasteride is another very popular topical hair loss treatment option.
Unlike minoxidil, which does not target the hormones in your body, Finasteride works by preventing testosterone from being converted into DHT in the prostate, hair follicles and glands. DHT is the active form of testosterone that causes hair loss. By inhibiting DHT, the goal is to help slow down and prevent future hair loss from occurring.
While each of these medicinal hair loss treatments is different, its important to discuss with your doctor about which one is right for you. While Minoxidil and Finasteride both have a common end goal, they both work in completely different ways. And while one may work for someone else, it may not be as effective for you. Which is why it is always important to discuss all of the options with your doctor before making a decision.
If youre losing hair and choose not to do medical therapy, like Rogaine, you will most certainly continue to experience hair loss. Dont hesitate to contact the Limmer Hair Transplant Center to discuss starting Rogaine today. Its important to monitor your hair regrowth progress with an experienced hair restoration professional to ensure that Rogaine is working for you.
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Causes Of Hair Loss And Baldness
A variety of factors from illness to poor nutrition to hormonal imbalances to major stress can contribute to hair loss. If you’re experiencing thinning hair or baldness, you need to get to the root of the problem to determine the best treatment.
Hair loss whether baldness or noticeably thinning hair can occur for a number of different reasons. Sometimes hair loss is a side effect of a health problem that needs to be addressed and will remedy itself when the health problem is properly treated. When hair loss is due to a condition involving the hair itself, as in the case of alopecia, the hair loss can be permanent.
Severe Hair Loss Hair Line Is Normal
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How Is Abnormal Hair Loss Treated
Treatment depends on the cause of your hair loss. For example, any infection will be treated. If your medicines appear to be causing your hair loss, your doctor may stop them. Hair loss caused by a medical condition will stop when you recover from that medical condition. Deficiencies of either iron or vitamin B12 can be treated by your doctor. Alopecia areata itself is usually treated with corticosteroids, powerful anti-inflammation medicines. These are used as local injections, creams or tablets. A skin consultant will advise you about this treatment.
If you wish to slow or stop the progression of hair loss, there may be treatments available such as medicines or hair transplantation. The latter therapy does not have the custom generated some 30 years ago, partly because of its cost and the few practitioners of that art. There are over-the-counter products available, eg, Regaine, while doctors may prescribe minoxidil or finasteride in some cases.
Complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and ultra-violet therapy, have been promoted by some health advocates. However, the evidence does not exist that these are effective options.
You may consider wearing a wig. Your doctor will help you find a source. See also information on the wigs and hairpieces subsidy.
How Is Alopecia Areata Diagnosed
A doctor may be able to diagnose alopecia areata simply by looking at the extent of your hair loss and by examining a few hair samples under a microscope.
Your doctor may also perform a scalp biopsy to rule out other conditions that cause hair loss, including fungal infections like tinea capitis. During a scalp biopsy, your doctor will remove a small piece of skin on your scalp for analysis.
Blood tests might be done if other autoimmune conditions are suspected.
The specific blood test performed depends on the particular disorder the doctor suspects. However, a doctor will likely test for the presence of one or more abnormal antibodies. If these antibodies are found in your blood, it usually means that you have an autoimmune disorder.
Other blood tests that can help rule out other conditions include the following:
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What Are The Treatment Options For Alopecia Areata
Understandably, hair loss is upsetting – particularly in young women. So there are plenty of private clinics out there who will promise ‘instant hair regrowth’. Be careful: a lot of treatments for alopecia are unproven, often don’t work and can quickly become very expensive. Before trying a private treatment, it might be worth getting an impartial opinion from a doctor in a state-funded system like the NHS.
Treating The Underlying Condition
If your hair loss is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as stress, a hormonal issue or a nutritional deficiency, the most effective way to prevent further hair loss and grow back your hair is to treat the underlying issue.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medication and/or recommend making certain changes to your habits and lifestyle. If youre prescribed medication, make sure to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider and use it for the entire treatment period.
If your hair loss is related to a medication you use, your healthcare provider may suggest using a different type of medication or adjusting your dosage. Its important not to make any changes to your use of medication without first talking to your healthcare provider.
In some cases, such as after an injury or surgery, you may simply need to wait for your body to recover before your hair will grow back.
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Habits & Lifestyle Changes
In some cases, you might need to make certain changes to your habits and lifestyle to stop hair loss and promote hair growth.
For example, if your hair loss is related to stress, changing your lifestyle to minimize stress and anxiety may help to improve hair growth. If youre losing your hair due to a nutritional deficiency, your healthcare providers guidance will be critically important.
While habits and lifestyle changes wont prevent male pattern baldness, some habits, such as using a hair loss prevention shampoo and avoiding hair care products with harsh or damaging ingredients, may be helpful for promoting hair growth.
Does Rogaine Actually Work
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of Rogaine as a treatment for hair loss. The International Society of Hair Restoration wrote that two studies found that the majority of patients who used 5% minoxidil for treating male pattern-baldness reported decreased hair loss, rapid onset of action in promoting new hair growth and very effective to effective new hair growth results during the treatment time.
At the Limmer Hair Transplant Center in San Antonio, Texas, many of our patients have seen thicker hair growth after using Rogaine. In the picture above, a female patient was very frightened when she began using minoxidil and experienced hair shedding. But, as you can see, she stuck with her routine of using the medication daily and saw her hair mass index go up four points after just two months of treatment!
So can Rogaine actually make your hair loss worse? Again, the short answer is no. It may seem as though you are losing more hair when you first start the treatment, but as long as you continue with your doctors plan, then you should begin to see fuller hair growth within a few months.
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Reason #: Not Everyone Should Be Using Minoxidil
As with any other drug or medication, it turns out that Minoxidil is NOT the optimal choice for select individuals.
For instance, dermatologist Dr. Jeff Donovan specifically avoids prescribing Minoxidil in five different scenarios:
an individual has some other hair loss condition besides androgenetic hair loss, such as dissecting cellulitis or menopause
the patient has heart problems, especially ischemic type heart disease or certain types of heart failure
the patient has heart rhythm issues
the patient has certain internal conditions
the individual has allergies to any of the components of minoxidil, such as propylene glycol in minoxidil solution or allergy to the minoxidil itself
- Teens under the age of 18
- Breastfeeding mothers
- People with pre-existing kidney disease
- Cancer patients who lost hair due to chemotherapy
In other words, the eligibility for Minoxidil isnt as great as advertised.
How To Encourage Regrowth
Unfortunately, there isnt really a miracle cure for alopecia. Hair loss is triggered by many different things so it might take a holistic, rounded approach to find a solution.
While I wouldnt recommend chemical-heavy topical treatments as they can have quite severe side effects, I stand by the following methods as safe and often effective options for hair growth. They wont magically grow hair back but they DO provide the optimal conditions for regrowthand can encourage any growth you are already experiencing to get a move on!
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Thinning Hair Following Pregnancy
Other hormonal imbalances can also lead to hair loss, especially the wildly fluctuating hormones that occur following pregnancy and childbirth. It takes time after pregnancy for hormone levels to return to normal, so it’s not at all uncommon for post-partum moms to notice thinning hair or even patches of baldness. This often occurs about three months after babys arrival. Don’t worry as the rest of your body recovers, so will your hair follicles. The hair loss is only temporary your hair will grow back.
What Is Alopecia Areata And Who Is Affected
Alopecia means loss of hair or baldness. There are a few different ways it can affect people, but the most common is small patches of hair loss, like circles, appearing on the scalp: this is called alopecia areata. There are other types, like alopecia totalis, where all the hair on the head is lost there is also something called alopecia universalis, where all the hair on the body disappears. But these are rare.
In the UK, alopecia areata is estimated to affect about 15 in 10,000 people. Most family doctors will have seen at least one case, and you probably know of a friend or family member who has had it.
Alopecia areata can occur at any age but about half of cases come on in childhood and 80% of cases come on before the age of 40 years. Men and women are equally affected. The condition tends to be milder if it comes on at an older age.
A relative, friend or hairdresser may be the first person to notice the bald patch or patches. Apart from the patch, the scalp usually looks healthy and there is no scarring. Occasionally, there is some mild redness, mild scaling, mild burning or a slightly itchy feeling on the bald patches, but usually the person doesn’t feel anything.
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You’ve Been Super Stressed Or Ill
Stress or illness can cause hair lossit’s a process known as telogen effluvium, or the excessive shedding of hair induced by stress, Michelle Henry, MD, a dermatologist based in New York, previously told Health.
“Our bodies perceive mental stress the same way it perceives physical stress, and any dramatic stressor on the body can cause hair growth to become arrested,” Dr. Henry said. “And when hair growth is arrested, it sheds.” Specifically, when the body is stressed it released the hormone cortisol, which can then affect the hair follicle and result in shedding or hair loss. That shedding typically occurs at least three months following a stressful event, Angelo Landriscina, MD, a Washington, DC-based dermatologist, previously told Health.
Of course, preventing stress is the easiest way to help prevent stress-induced hair lossbut that’s not always an easy thing to do. If you experience hair loss of any kind, it’s wise to check in with your dermatologist. Should they determine that your hair loss is stress-related, your derm may recommend a treatment called minoxidil, a vasodilator that improves circulation around the hair bulb at the base of the hair follicle, to help grow hair back that you’ve lost. Also important: having patience and allowing time for hair growth.
Living With Alopecia Areata
The American Academy of Family Physicians recognizes that living with alopecia areata can be emotionally difficult. It affects social interaction and self-confidence, as people are embarrassed to let others see their hair loss. It can also be frustrating to not know if your hair is going to grow back or fall out again.
Consider joining a patient support group for people who have alopecia areata. Support groups give you a chance to talk about your condition. They help you realize you are not alone in your frustration with alopecia areata. A support group can be a good resource for practical tips to deal with the condition.
Hairstyling techniques or hair care products can help to cover bare patches on your head. But some products can be harsh on your hair. This could cause additional damage and loss. You might want to talk with your doctor about what products to avoid. People who have alopecia areata are encouraged to be creative with hats, scarves, and wigs.
Losing your eyelashes, eyebrows, and the hair in your nose and ears also can be a problem. Hair protects your eyes, nose, and ears from the irritation of dust, germs, and small, foreign particles. Wear eyeglasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes. You can use antibiotic ointment inside your nose to help keep germs out.
Be sure to cover areas of exposed scalp with a hat or sunscreen to reduce your risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
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