Hair loss

The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. There are many types of hair loss, with different causes and consequently different treatment programs. Some types of hair loss are permanent; such baldness (androgenetic alopecia), which affects roughly one-third of men and women. Other types of alopecia are temporary, like alopecia areata which may involve patchy hair loss over the scalp or other parts of the body.

Permanent hair loss

  • Male-pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). For men this pattern can begin very early, even in the teens or early 20s. It’s typically characterized by a receding hairline at the temples and balding at the top of the head. The end result may be partial or complete baldness.
  • Female-pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). Women usually have hair thinning limited to the front, sides or crown of the scalp. Unlike men, women usually maintain their frontal hairline and rarely experience complete baldness.
  • Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia. This subtype of hair loss comprises different disease conditions such as Lichen planopilaris, dissecting cellulitis and others. These conditions are rare and are due to inflammation that damages and scars the hair follicle, causing permanent hair loss.

Temporary hair loss

  • Alopecia areata. Hair loss usually occurs in small, round, smooth patches that vary in size. Usually the disease is limited to a few patches on the scalp, however it can occur in any area that has hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes and beard. In rare cases, it can progress to cause hair loss over the entire body. If the hair loss includes the entire scalp, the condition is called alopecia totalis. If it extends to the whole body, it’s called alopecia universalis.
  • Telogen effluvium. This type of temporary hair loss occurs suddenly. Hair can be shed in handfuls when combing or washing hair or may fall out after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes generalized scalp hair thinning and not bald patches.

Typical precipitants include:

  • Illness, especially if there is fever
  • Surgical procedures
  • Accident
  • Childbirth
  • Psychological stress
  • Weight loss or unusual diet
  • Certain medications
  • Discontinuing the contraceptive pill
  • Overseas travel resulting in jetlag
  • Excessive sun exposure

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Khashayar toodehfallah oct 7th at 10:50 am
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