Turn Hair Loss into a... Hair Win!

 

Trying to beat hair loss can sometimes feel like fighting a losing battle, but your dermatologist has your back!  At Cindy Hoffman Dermatology, we have the winning one-two punches to knock out hair loss!

 

Know your Opponent:

There are many causes of hair loss; identifying your opponent is the first step in fighting back and defeating it.  Some daily hair shedding is part of life; it is normal to lose about 50-100 hairs every day.  On the other hand, hair loss may be excessive and emotionally distressing, and it can sometimes be an indicator of an underlying medical condition.  Furthermore, the time period over which you lose your hair may be an important clue into its cause.  Hair loss may seem to be gradual and "float like a butterfly," or it can "sting like a bee" and seem to happen more abruptly.  For instance, progressive hair loss may be genetic, while sudden increases in hair shedding can happen with changes in hormones, stress, or nutritional deficiencies.  Some diseases and medical treatments can also result in loss of hair.  Even how you style and care for your hair can cause hair loss.

 

Hereditary Hair Loss

In many cases, hair loss is a very slow and steady adversary.  The most common cause of hair loss is a medical condition called hereditary hair loss, which appears as gradual thinning of the hair.  In men, they may tend to see a receding hairline or thinning on top of the scalp.  Women may notice thinning at the crown of the scalp or a widening of their part.  This condition is seen among family members who share similar traits for hair loss. About 80 million men and women in the United States have this type of hair loss.  Other names for this type of hair loss are:

                        Male-pattern baldness

                        Female-pattern baldness

                        Androgenetic alopecia

At Cindy Hoffman Dermatology, one of our treatments for hereditary hair loss includes a topical preparation called ProHair, with special formulations for men and women.  ProHair is a proprietary blend of ingredients that can regrow hair by blocking the hormonal receptors which control and promote hair loss.

 

Alopecia Areata

Hair loss can also occur when you are, or more specifically, your immune system is your own worst enemy!  A common type of hair loss, called alopecia areata, is thought to be an autoimmune disorder.  This happens when the body’s protective forces, which are normally aimed at foreign elements such as germs, are triggered instead to attack the hair follicles.  In this condition, hair loss can be seen as round patches that may enlarge with time.  Most people with this condition are healthy, and the hair can begin to regrow even without treatment.  Your dermatologist may give you a medicine called a corticosteroid to speed up the hair regrowth.  It may be applied as an ointment, cream, foam, liquid, or injected directly into the areas of hair loss.

 

Telogen Effluvium

Sometimes hair loss strikes suddenly and causes your tresses to go down for the count!  Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss in which abrupt and diffuse hair shedding is triggered when the normal hair growth cycle is altered.  This can occur with hormonal fluctuations such as after childbirth or during menopause.  It can also occur secondary to severe emotional stress, or with physical stress, such as after surgery or a severe illness.  Moreover, restrictive or crash diets and eating disorders can lead to hair loss through nutritional deficiencies.  Diseases or chronic conditions like thyroid dysfunction and anemia are associated with this hair loss.  Often the hair growth cycle may correct itself even without treatment and hair can spontaneously regrow.  Other times, it may be necessary to treat the underlying condition first in order for hair to regrow properly.  Be aware that some medications can cause hair to fall, such as chemotherapy, birth control pills, and many others; it is important to inform your doctor if you have started a new treatment.

 

Hair Care

            If you are currently losing hair or are attempting to regrow hair, it is important to keep your tresses in good shape, like a well-conditioned prize fighter.  Make your hair strong and healthy by following a nutritious diet, and you may also take certain vitamin supplements such as biotin to improve the condition of the hair.  Also be sure to be gentle to your hair while brushing or styling it.  Avoid pulling hair back into tight ponytails or braids, and keep your mane away from harsh chemicals, relaxers, or dyes.

 

For more information or for a consultation, please call Cindy Hoffman Dermatology to schedule an appointment.

 

 

References:

Hair loss (2013). Amer Acad of Derm.  Retrieved on Aug 20, 2013, from http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/e---h/hair-loss

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