Hair loss

 

Are you suffering from hair loss? There are many different causes of hair loss presenting to a dermatologist office.

Non-scarring alopecia:

  • Anagen hair loss: decreased hair growth; short broken hairs are seen
  • Causes:
  • Autoimmune disease (severe alopecia areata)
  • Medications: hair growth resumes 3-6 months after withdrawal of offending medications
  • Loose anagen syndrome: inherited condition
  • Telogen hair loss:
  • increased hair shedding, usually 2-6 months after an event that stops hair growth
  • Causes:
  • Pregnancy/Child-birth
  • Weight loss
  • Fever, severe illness, surgery or stress
  • Medications¬†
  • Androgenetic alopecia:
  • thick terminal hairs become thin vellus hair. Common with age.
  • Male pattern: affects temples and vertex of scalp
  • Female pattern: affects frontal scalp
  • Hair shaft abnormalities (congenital or acquired)
  • Causes: excess hair injury from pulling (trichotillomania), chemical relaxants, bleach, others
  • Systemic diseases
  • Iron deficiency anemia, hypothyroidism, lupus, syphilis, severe illness
  • Scarring alopecia– due to Inflammatory skin disease
  • Infections: Staphylococcus aureus, fungal infections (tinea capitis), viral infections
  • Inflammatory skin diseases: discoid lupus, lichen planopilaris, localized scleroderma, others

Diagnosing the cause of your hair loss often requires a careful history and examination by a dermatologist. Woods lamp examination, cultures, skin scrapings and blood tests may be necessary.  Your dermatologist will target the treatment towards the underlying cause.