Hair loss, or Alopecia, can occur as a normal process of aging, but is also a result of disease or outcome from certain cancer-treating drugs. There are many types of Alopecia that exist, however the most common forms are described below:
Alopecia areata is hair loss occurring in patches anywhere on the body, but is generally lost on one’s scalp. This condition is more common amongst women.
Alopecia totalis is complete hair loss on the scalp, occurring rapidly or as a process. This form of hair loss is caused by an immune disorder that can be triggered by extreme stress. It is more intermediary between Alopecia areata and Alopecia universalis.
Alopecia universalis is the most severe type of hair loss, occurring throughout the entire body. It extends as far as losing eyelashes and eyebrows and is considered an autoimmune condition.
Anagen effluvium is hair loss caused by cancer-treating drugs like chemotherapy and radiation. This condition is usually temporary and those who go into remission will gradually see their hair grow back, sometimes in a different state than what is was before their diagnosis.
What is hair loss?
The term hair loss can refer to the noticeable thinning of hair on the scalp, or smaller balding spots throughout the scalp. In dermatology, hair loss is commonly referred to as alopecia. Alopecia areata is balding in isolated patches. Alopecia may either come and go, or it can persist for long periods of time.
Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that can be triggered by:
- Hereditary factors
- Hormonal changes
- The natural aging process
Hair loss and baldness are more commonly seen in males. Baldness often refers to a significant loss of scalp hair. Alopecia universalis indicates that a person is experiencing complete baldness everywhere - including eyebrows and eyelashes, facial hair, and body hair.
The most frequent cause of scalp baldness is hereditary hair loss as people age. Some individuals would rather let their hair loss progress naturally without treatment or camouflage. Others may disguise it with hats or wigs, which may get tedious over time. Feinstein Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery offers hair loss treatment options to restore hair growth and preserve existing hair to improve and maintain overall appearance.
Signs Of Hair Loss
Symptoms of hair loss may include the gradual thinning of hair on top of head, usually beginning in a circle at the top back of the head and at the start of the hairline. For individuals with longer hair, the part will appear wider. As people become older, they are more likely to experience this sort of hair loss.
Another symptom of hair loss is increased shedding when washing or brushing the hair. This form of hair loss often results in general hair thinning.
Losing hair in an irregular pattern around the eyebrows, eyelashes, or beard could be a sign of another medical issue. Contact a board certified dermatologist near you to rule out any other causes.
When to see a doctor
If you or your loved one is experiencing pattern hair loss and or complete hair loss, Feinstein Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery has a variety of treatment options. Contact us today.