It is a noted fact that we loose up to 50-100 strands of hair from our scalp every day. This number is normal and in most people, these hairs grow back but in many cases, men and some women lose hair as they grow older but they do not grow back. There are various reasons that cause hair fall such as hypothyroid, nutrient deficiency, stress, diabetes, lupus, certain medicines or genetics. But the actual problem starts when baldness tendency to show.
The medical term for hair loss is Alopecia Areata. The treatment of alopecia is very much dependent on the cause. The commonest cause is male pattern hair loss that tends to occur in men in their 20s and 30s. Generally, they notice recession of hair over their temples. They may also notice hair thinning over the crown of their scalp. For women, the commonest cause is female pattern hair loss. Often women notice thinning on the top of the scalp compared to the back of scalp. Both these conditions, male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss have a strong genetic component. However, male pattern hair loss tends to be more strongly influenced by hormonal factors. Other factors of hair loss include autoimmune types of hair loss and commonest of these is alopecia aerate. In terms of scarring hair loss, patients often get symptoms as compared to patients with non- scarring types of hair loss. This can include a stinging sensation or sensation of burning or discomfort and patient may also experience tenderness in touch over the scalp. Looking at the scalp, there may be changes such as redness around the hair follicle or indeed larger area of redness. Often over time if left untreated this can progress to a scarring patch of hair loss where scar is seen on the scalp.
The treatment for alopecia at Doctor’s Point is very much dependent upon the underlying causes in the diagnosis. The focus of treatment is to find and treat the reason behind hair fall. So, for female pattern hair loss, hormonal therapy such as Oral contraceptive pill or hormonal replacement therapies can be useful. Patients with Alopecia Areata is important to treat the underlying auto immune cause. This may be with steroid tablets, steroid cream or non-steroid based creams. An alternative treatment includes light therapy, immune therapy and tablets treatments to suppress the overall immune system. There are newer therapies that are in trail and which looks very promising. There are also huge number of lifestyle factors that one would consider for their hair loss. In terms of scarring hair loss, treatment is to reduce the inflammation to prevent the scarring from occurring. Therefore, early treatment is important. A variety of creams, lotions and foams may be used on the surface of the scalp but often tablets that suppress the immunity system are needed.