Types & Causes Of Hair Loss
Alopecia: Loss of hair as a result of illness, functional disorder, or hereditary disposition. The medical term for hair loss.
Alopecia Areata: A disease that causes the body to form antibodies against some hair follicles. It can result from such factors as stress, genetics and the immune system. Alopecia Areata causes sudden smooth, circular patches of hair loss.
Alopecia Totalis: A condition that results in no hair on the scalp. It may begin as Alopecia Areata or some other cause.
Alopecia Universalis: A condition that results in no hair on any part of the body, this includes eyelashes, eyebrows, and scalp hair. It may develop as alopecia areata or result from another cause
Tinea Capitis: commonly known as “Ringworm” this condition is highly contagious. It can be spread from animals to humans or between people. Scaling and redness in round or uneven areas of stubbled hair loss occur where the fungus is consuming the keratin of the hair.These patches of hair loss slowly expand as the fungus spreads.
Trichotillomania: Many people have nervous habits. but some people have an irresistible urge to compulsively pull their hair out, at the point of noticeable hair loss. This is a condition known as Trichotillomania ( trick-o-till-o-main-ee-a). Psychiatrists estimate that 4 million Americans have this disorder. It is caused by an extreme amount of anxiety, stress and depression. A person who suffers from these symptoms should seek immediate help from a licensed, professional psychologist or psychiatrist, as treatment is beyond any hair care professional.
Traction Alopecia: This refers to hair loss which occurs do to traction placed on hair. Traction alopecia is commonly seen with braids, pony tails and other hairstyles which create tension on the scalp.
Female Pattern Baldness: Progressive thinning of hair throughout the entire head caused by genes, age and hormones. It usually develops at a much slower rate than male pattern baldness.
***Causes of Hair LossAnagen Effluvium is usually due to internally administered medications.
Telogen Effluvium occurs when an increased number of hair follicles enter the resting phase.
The most common cause and some examples of Telogen Effluvium, include:
Physical stress: surgery, illness, anemia, rapid weight changes
Emotional Stress: mental illness, death of a loved one
Hormonal Causes: pregnancy, birth control pills, and menopause
Poor Nutrition: inadequate protein or iron rich foods, fad and crash diets, bowel disease, eating disorders
Diet: too little protein or iron in your diet can lead to hair shedding
Disease: Diabetes, lupus, over active or under active thyroid, viral or fungal infections
When most of these causes of Telogen Effluvium are reversed, individuals should see the return of normal hair growth. The diseases listed may prove to be an exception.
Hair loss due to Medical Issues Anticancer Drugs
Cancer is a condition of uncontrolled cell growth.
Anticancer drugs act on both normal and cancerous cells, and are most likely to destroy cells that reproduce quickly. Hair follicles divide rapidly, which is why they are affected by chemotherapy.Not all chemotherapy causes hair loss, and except in rare instances, hair loss is temporary. When treatment is completed, the hair follicles will resume creating new hair for you.
Radiation therapy employs high energy rays to inhibit the growth and division of cancer cells. It destroys all cells ability to grow and multiply in the area of application.
Drug Induced Hair Loss
Some commonly prescribed drugs can cause temporary and permanent hair loss. They can even trigger the onset of male or female pattern baldness.Ask you doctor if hair loss is a side effect of the medication they have prescribed. If so, ask if there is another that is just as effective with out the potential side effect of hair loss.Below is a brief list of some common category of drugs with the side effects of hair loss:
Acne drugs –accutane
Anticoagulants -blood thinners
Cancer drugs -chemotherapy
Cholesterol -lowering drugs
Anticonvulsants -Convulsions/Epilepsy drugs
High blood pressure
Hormonal containing drugs
*** Medical information provided is based on reference from the following sources:
WebMD website (www.webmd.com) National Alopecia AreataAssociation (www.NAAF.ORG)
American Hair loss Association (www.americanhairloss.org).
This information is not meant to replace the diagnosis of a qualified Physician, and further research of any information provided is encouraged