Alopecia



Alopecia refers to hair loss from any part of the body which is beyond the normal. It most commonly affects the head, but other body parts can also be affected. There are different types of alopecia. Broadly they have been classified into scarring and non-scarring types. Among the non-scarring group, the most common are the male pattern hair loss, telogen effluvium, female pattern hair loss, and alopecia areata. Some less common causes of hair loss are drug-induced, pulling out of hair, fungal infection, hormonal abnormalities, and nutritional.

Scarring group of alopecia are less common and include traction alopecia, Pseudopelade of Brocq, connective tissue diseases, trauma, radiation, Lichen Planopilaris, and some genodermatosis.

Male and female pattern alopecia is the most common type of Alopecia. The major causes of alopecia are primarily genetics and hormones. In male pattern hair loss, there is receding of the hairline along with thinning of the hair and baldness at the vertex. In female pattern hair loss, the hairline does not recede, but there is a diffuse reduction in the hair density over the central part of the scalp along with thinning of the hair. Both of these conditions require long-term treatment.

Alopecia areata is the most common cause of patchy hair loss. In this, a patient notices a sudden appearance of patchy baldness. It generally affects scalp and beard but, other areas like eyebrows, eyelashes, and body hair can also be affected. It is primarily an auto-immune disease.

Telogen effluvium can be acute, following some illness, or it can be chronic when it persists for a longer period of time lasting beyond six months. In this type of hair loss, the patient often experiences excessive hair fall while the hair density is reduced to a great extent.

Evaluation and diagnosis

A dermatologist would take a detailed history of your hair loss, do a clinical examination, some hair test (pull test) and trichoscopy to make the diagnosis. Blood investigations like hemogram and hormonal tests may be needed in some cases. In cases of suspected scarring alopecia biopsy may also be indicated.

Treatment

  1. General Care- Dermatologist can examine your scalp and guide you regarding general care of your hair including oiling, shampoo, conditioner, serums for frizzy hair, hair dyes, hair colors for those allergic to routine hair dyes, and complications following salon hair care procedures.
  2. Supplements- Nutritional deficiencies can result in hair fall and dermatologist can guide you regarding which hair supplements will be good for you and how long you should take them. Anemia or low protein levels also need to be corrected. Diet rich in protein, almonds, and Amla is good for hair.
  3. Medical Therapy- Treatment depends upon the cause of hair loss. Most common alopecia is male and female pattern hair loss. They are managed with minoxidil based preparations, and hair growth promoting serums. Treatment is generally prolonged and the earlier the treatment is started, better is the response. Chronic telogen effluvium requires detailed evaluation in order to look for any systemic abnormality leading to hair loss and is treated accordingly. Alopecia Areata is managed with topical and oral immune-modulators as it is primarily an immune system-mediated disease.
  4. Interventions- Many procedures can be done to enhance the results of medical therapy like PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), Mesotherapy (Growth factors injections), Microneedling and light therapy. They are not a replacement for medical treatment. They are combined with medical therapy to boost the response to treatment.
  5. Surgery- Hair transplantation is an option in male and female pattern Alopecia patients, who want to shift their hairline, and those not getting good enough improvement with medical therapy alone. Some of the scarring alopecia patients like post burn and post-traumatic alopecia are also an ideal candidate for hair transplantation.
  6. So if you are experiencing any type of alopecia, visit our Dermatologist at Skin Care World Clinic, Sector 51, Gurugram, to seek effective treatment for your problems.

     

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