Alopecia (Hair Loss) Treatment
Hair loss is experienced in approximately 80 percent of men and nearly 50 percent of women. However, while pattern baldness is a common, though not entirely welcome, phenomenon, there are certain situations where hair loss is more dramatic and sudden, and it occurs not only on the head but all over the body. This condition is known as alopecia areata.
IDI offers an assortment of solutions for patients experiencing hair loss caused by a variety of factors. If you are experiencing sudden hair loss, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at IDI for a consultation.
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What is Alopecia?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss. While the hair loss might be predominantly from the scalp, it can occur all over the body. It generally produces a patchy form of hair loss that is distinctly different from pattern baldness. It often appears in an apparently random fashion.
There are several alopecia areata subcategories. They include:
- Alopecia totalis: This typically starts as alopecia areata, but the bald patches across the scalp spread, leading to complete or near-complete baldness
- Alopecia universalis: The most advanced state of alopecia – near-total or total hair loss all over the body.
- Diffuse alopecia areata: The presentation of this condition differs from alopecia areata in that the hair loss is dispersed evenly across the scalp, so it is more challenging to diagnose. There are no bald patches.
These issues are believed to be triggered by an autoimmune condition wherein the body attacks the hair follicles. Alopecia is most often seen in people who have a family history of the disorder, who suffer from asthma, or who have received cancer treatment using certain immunotherapy drugs.
Other Hair Loss Causes
Not all hair loss is caused by alopecia areata. Other reasons include:
- Traction alopecia: A condition where consistent physical stress on the hair follicles causes sufficient damage to inhibit hair growth, leading to thinning hair. This is often caused by too-tight hairstyles, like ponytails or braided hair extensions.
- Severe emotional trauma/stress: Enduring long periods of distress can lead to patchy hair loss.
- Ringworm: This is a scalp infection that causes significant inflammation, scales, and broken, thinning hair.
Diagnosing hair loss involves a complete medical workup since there could be numerous medical factors contributing to the condition. This involves a discussion of family history, medical history, your activities, how you care for your hair, and your eating habits. Moreover, you will likely undergo blood tests, hair sample analysis, and a scalp biopsy.
If you are diagnosed with alopecia areata, you will be given management strategies that will help you regrow your hair. The appropriate solutions will be determined by several factors, including your age, overall health, and the severity of the condition.
Some effective treatments include:
- Prescription medications. These might be corticosteroids and Janus Kinase (JAK) enzyme inhibitors
- Topical immunotherapies. These involve the supervised application of topical treatments specifically to bald patches on the scalp.
If you’re experiencing sudden hair loss, the team at IDI can help you determine the likely causes and provide the treatment solutions and support to both manage your health and possibly reverse the condition. Please book an appointment today for a consultation.