Alopecia (falling of hair)
Alopecia is the loss of hair. Hair loss can be caused by different reasons, including damage to the hair shaft or follicles. Fungal infections can also cause hair loss.
There are two main types of alopecia. When the body's immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles and causes hair to fall out, it's called alopecia areata. Hair can fall out in patches all over the body. Androgenetic alopecia, on the other hand, is a kind of hair loss that's inherited. Hair on the head thins and falls out.Â In men, this is called male pattern hair loss; in women, it is called female diffuse hair loss.
About 60% of people with andro-genetic alopecia are men. Hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia is permanent.
Signs and Symptoms:
Symptoms of alopecia may include:
Male pattern hair loss: Thinning or complete loss of hair at the hairline and top of the head.
Female diffuse hair loss: A gradual thinning of hair, especially on the top of the head. The hairline usually stays the same.
Alopecia areata: Broken hairs, or hairs easily removed; one or more round or oval bald patches.
What Causes It?
Causes may include:
Aging / Genetics / Illness / Some medications, such as chemotherapy / Malnutrition
Autoimmune disorder, in the case of alopecia areata
What to Expect at Your Provider's Office:
Usually your doctor can diagnose andro-genetic alopecia by examining you and taking a medical history. If your health care provider suspects alopecia areata, the health care provider may order a fluorescent antinuclear antibody (FNA) test, which can help determine if there is a problem with your immune system.
Treatment depends on the type of alopecia you have. With many temporary forms of alopecia, hair will grow back without treatment. For people with alopecia areata, medications may help reduce hair loss. Some men with male pattern hair loss may consider surgery, such as hair transplants, scalp reduction, and strip or flap grafts.
· 7 years ago