There are various hair diseases. Excessive hair fall, baldness, greying of hair and less amount of hair growth all are included in the hair disease category. Balding can be localized or spread throughout the head area. Moreover there is a hair disease called Marie Antoinette Syndrome well known among folks. Scalp disorders may or may not be associated with hair disease.
In this article, we will discuss hair disease- causes, symptoms, and prevention in a detailed account.
HAIR LOSS ISSUE:
When excessive hair fall occurs and the hair growth does not compensate theamount of hair fall, it’s called hair loss. This that may leads to baldness.
So if you notice that you suffer from an excessive hair fall then you should consult a doctor.
In kids it’s normal to lose hair in between 50 to 100 a day. New hair replaces that amount very easily. But sometimes it’s not happening. Hair loss may develop gradually over time and years or sometimes happen abruptly. And hair loss may be permanent or temporary.
The temporary hair loss is not at all worrying you too much but when it happens permanently then it’s a matter of concern. And then you should try to find out the causes and prevention measures of it.
It’s almost impossible to count the amount of hair loss on a day. So you may be losing more hair than is normal when you notice a large amount of hair in the drain or in your pillow cover or in your comb after washing your hair or clumps of hair in your brush. You may also notice thinning patches of hair or baldness.
So if you notice that you’re losing more hair than normal, then you should discuss the problem with your doctor. The doctors can determine the underlying cause of your hair loss and suggest appropriate treatment for that purpose.
THE MAIN CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS:
At first, your doctor or dermatologist will try to determine the underlying cause of your hair loss. The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary male- or female and the pattern is baldness. So if you have a family history of baldness, you may have this type of hair loss. Certain hormones can also trigger hereditary hair loss. It may begin as early as puberty.
Moreover, in some cases, hair loss may occur with a simple halt in the cycle of hair growth. Severe illnesses, surgeries, or traumatic events can trigger hair loss extensively. However, your hair will usually start growing back without treatment also.
The main hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, childbirth, discontinuing the use of birth control pills, and menopause can cause hair loss in a temporary way.
Some medical conditions that can cause hair loss include thyroid disease, alopecia areata and scalp infections like ringworm. The diseases that cause scarrings, such as lichen planus and some types of lupus, can result in permanent hair loss because of the scarring.
Some hair loss can also cause due to medications used to treat cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, and heart problems.
Not only that some physical or emotional shock may trigger noticeable hair loss. Some examples of this type are a death in the family, extreme weight loss, or a high fever. People with the hair-pulling disorder have a compulsion to pull out their hair, usually from their head, eyebrows, or eyelashes. The Traction hair loss can be caused due to hairstyles that put pressure on the follicles by pulling the hair back very tightly.
The diet which lacks in protein, iron, and other nutrients can lead to thinning of hair also.
DIAGNOSIS OF HAIR LOSS
The persistent hair loss sometimes indicates an underlying health issue. Your doctor can determine the cause of your hair loss based on a physical examination and your health history. But in some cases, simple dietary changes can help, along with switching prescription medications.
And if your dermatologist suspects an autoimmune or skin disease, they might take a biopsy of the skin on your scalp. That will involve carefully removing a small section of skin for laboratory testing. It’s very important to remember that hair growth is a complex process, so it may take time to determine the exact cause of your hair loss.
TREATMENTS OF HAIR LOSS:
Intake medicines will likely be the first course of treatment for hair loss. The medications generally consist of topical creams and gels that you apply directly to the scalp. And the most common products contain an ingredient called minoxidil. And, your doctor may recommend minoxidil in conjunction with other hair loss treatments. Some side effects of minoxidil include scalp irritation and hair growth in adjacent areas, such as your forehead or face.
Some prescription medications may also treat hair loss. Doctors mainly prescribe the oral medication finasteride (Propecia) and it’s for male-pattern baldness. You need to take this medication daily to slow hair loss. Some men can experience new hair growth when taking finasteride. Some rare side effects of this medication include diminished sex drive and impaired sexual function. There may be a link also between the use of finasteride and a fast-growing type of prostate cancer.
The doctors also prescribe corticosteroids like prednisone. The individuals with alopecia areata can use this to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Corticosteroids mimic are the hormones made by your adrenal glands. And a high amount of corticosteroid in the body reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system.
Some possible side effects include:
- Glaucoma, a collection of eye diseases which can result in optic nerve damage and vision loss also.
- Fluid retention and the swelling in the lower legs
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
There is some evidence also that corticosteroid use may also put you at higher risk for the following conditions:
- Loss of calcium from bones
- Thin skin and easy bruising
- Sore throat
Sometimes, intake of medicines isn’t enough to stop hair loss. There are some surgical procedures to treat baldness are present also and they include-
The hair transplant surgery involves moving small plugs of skin each with few hairs, to bald parts of your scalp. And this works well for those people with inherited baldness since they typically lose hair on the top of the head. It is because that type of hair loss is progressive. And you would need multiple surgeries over time.
In this type, the surgeon removes part of your scalp that lacks hair. After that, the surgeon then closes the area with a piece of your scalp that has hair.
The other option is a flap. In this type, your surgeon folds scalp that has hair over a bald patch. This is a type of scalp reduction. Tissue expansion is a process that can also cover bald spots. And it requires two surgeries.
In the first surgery, a surgeon places a tissue expander under a part of your scalp that has hair and is next to the bald spot. After a few weeks, the expander causes the growth of new skin cells. And in the second surgery, your surgeon removes the expander and places the new skin with hair on the bald spot.
These surgical remedies tend to be expensive, and also they carry some risks. And they include:
- Patchy hair growth
- Wide scars
PREVENTION OF HAIR LOSS:
There are certain things you can do to prevent hair loss. And they are as follows
- Don’t wear tight hairstyles just like braids, ponytails, or buns because they can put too much pressure on your hair. And over time, those styles permanently damage your hair follicles.
- Never pull, twist, or rub your hair.
- Have a balanced diet, and notice that you’re getting adequate amounts of iron and protein.
- Certain beauty products can actually worsen or cause hair loss, as they have harsh chemicals.
- So if you’re currently losing hair, use a gentle baby shampoo to wash your hair.
- If you have extremely oily hair, then only you can wash your hair on every other day.
- Try to always pat the hair dry and avoid rubbing your hair.
- Some styling products and tools are also common culprits in hair loss disease. Examples of those products are blow dryers, heated combs, hair straighteners, colouring products, bleaching agents, perms, and relaxers. So avoiding them can help you to prevent hair loss.
- And if you decide to style your hair with heated tools then only do so when your hair is damp or dry.
Hair loss is not a diagnosis it’s a symptom. The pathogenesis of the alopecia involves a range of genetic, endocrine, immune, and inflammatory processes. And every of which has its own form of treatment.
Hair of us has both physiological and psychological importance. It can protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays and serves a biological signalling function also. Not only that in the Western world at least, but long and full women’s hair is also considered beautiful and a sign of youth. And thick pigmented men’s hair signifies that of youth and vitality. So it is thus not at all surprising that people with excessive hair loss often seek medical help. So try to find out the main causes of hair fall and if it becomes severe then consult a doctor without any delay.