Alopecia is a term that means hair loss. There can be many causes of hair loss for men and women. To properly provide treatment for hair loss, it is first important to diagnose the correct reason for the hair loss.
Some common causes of hair loss include:
- Androgenic alopecia
- This is the most common type of hair loss to affect men and women. This is thought to be due to heredity or hormonal changes. This type of hair loss is progressive if no medical intervention takes place.
- It can be managed with medications or a procedure called platelet rich plasma.
- Alopecia Areata
- Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune condition where your body attacks the hair follicles and causes circular patches of hair loss.
- Dermatologists can treat AA in various different manners ranging from topical to oral medications to injections. Many cases will respond well to treatment but it takes several months to improve.
- Telogen effluvium
- Telogen effluvium is when your hair is in a resting phase and doesn’t go back towards the growing phase. This type of hair loss often occurs to a stressful event to your body. This can include, but is not limited to, changes in medication, recent illness, childbirth, vitamin deficiency, dietary changes, emotional stress, or recent hospitalization.
- Telogen effluvium usually begins three months after the triggering event and often
resolves after 3-6 months. If your hair loss lasts longer, then medical intervention may be necessary.
- Traction Alopecia
- Traction alopecia is a form of chronic hair loss that occurs to due to chronic pulling on the hair from tight hairstyles such as braids, use of tight hair rollers or tight wig caps.
- Initially, this type of hair loss is reversible but overtime it can become scarring or irreversible.
- The best way to prevent this type of hair loss is to avoid tight hair styles or hair styles that rub or pull at the hair follicles.
- Cicatricial alopecia
- Cicatricial alopecia is a term that means scarring alopecia in which inflammation around the hair follicles destroys the hair follicles and replaces it with scar tissue. Unfortunately, once this change happens, the hair cannot regrow.
- This type of hair loss can often start with itching and swelling and progress to hair loss.
- There are several types of cicatricial or scarring hair loss. Some of these include:
- Lichen planopilaris
- Frontal fibrosing alopecia
- Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia
- In some cases, lupus of the skin can also lead to hair loss
- To diagnose a scarring hair loss, a biopsy may be needed.
Since there are multiple causes of hair loss, we recommend setting an appointment to discuss your hair loss with one of our board-certified dermatologists to discuss what is the best treatment option for you.