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Alopecia types

Alopecia Types : Causes and Treatments

Hair loss is a very common problem these days almost 8 out of 10 people suffer from hair loss problems. On average man loses 100 strands of hair while brushing or washing daily so finding a few stray hairs on your hairbrush is not necessarily cause for alarm. Hair loss can happen to anyone and at any age.

What are the Causes of the Hair Loss problem?

1) Continuous Stress affect on Hair fall

If you are under a lot of pressure and tension then you may experience some hair loss. If you have experienced an incident that came as a shock to you and you are stressed out because of it then you may see your hair falling out.

2) Unbalanced and Improper Diet

What we eat reflects our health. If you are not taking all the essential macronutrients required for hair growth then you will suffer from hair loss.

3) Sleeping schedule 

8 hours of sleep is important for our overall health. If you don’t have an appropriate sleeping pattern then you can experience skin and hair problems. Not getting enough sleep is harmful to our health.

4) Heredity as a cause for Hair Fall

You may have inherited the hair loss issue from your parents or grandparents if they had suffered from hair loss problems similar to yours.

5) Drugs and Long Medication

You may be on some kind of medication or drug which may be causing your hair to fall out. Chemotherapy or beta-adrenergic blockers used to control blood pressure can cause temporary hair loss.

6) Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can cause temporary or permanent hair loss. You may also suffer from scalp infection such as ringworm.

7) Dyeing your hair frequently

Some dyes are harmful to your hair and can cause damage to your scalp. Hair colour damages the hair roots and follicle which causes hair to fall out.

8) Washing your hair daily

If you use a hard shampoo then avoid washing your hair daily. These hard shampoos have chemicals in them which can accumulate on your scalp and cause damage to your hair roots.

9) Not washing your hair after a workout

After a workout, session sweat accumulates on your scalp and it can cause fungal infection or dandruff which can promote hair fall.

10) Smoking and drinking binge

People who smoke or drink daily suffer from hair loss or male pattern baldness. These habits are not good for your health and can cause many other problems.

11) DHT Accumulation

DHT(Dihydrotestosterone) is responsible for hair loss in men. It is a hormone that is made by 5-alpha reductase and testosterone. This accumulates on your scalp and causes hair loss

You can prevent hair loss with the help of these remedies.

What does Alopecia mean?

Alopecia is known to be a medical term for hair loss. Hair loss might occur naturally, or due to a disease, use of certain medications and any other condition mentioned above. Symptoms of alopecia depend on the type of cause of the condition and usually range from a small bald patch to a complete loss of all body hair.

Everyone experiences a different amount of hair loss. Some might lose only a few strands, while others might lose a lot of it. Sometimes, your hair grows back but starts falling out again later.

Types Of Alopecia

There are various types of alopecia. Alopecia areata is most commonly observed in its main form, but there are other rare types:

1. Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic Alopecia is a common type of hair loss that affects both males and females. It is also called male pattern baldness for men which is described as the loss or thinning of hair on the head's crown or hairline shrinking from the temples. Usually, a U-shaped hair pattern around the back and sides of the men’s head stays or hair may keep on falling out, leading to complete baldness as time passes.

What are the Possible Treatments?

  1. Minoxidil or Rogaine
  2. Spironolactone or Aldactone is a diuretic that blocks androgen production
  3. Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment
  4. Hair Transplant

2. Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is a condition that is generated when the immune system of the body targets your hair follicles and disturbs the natural hair growth and formation. The causes of this type of hair loss are still unknown but it seems to be an anomaly wherein the immune system targets specific body tissues. Alopecia areata is often linked to other autoimmune conditions such as ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vitiligo, thyroid disease and allergic disorders. In some cases, this occurs in several members of the family, indicating the role of heredity and genes.

Possible Treatments:

  1. Steroids
  2. Immunotherapy entails deliberately inducing an allergic response that helps in triggering the growth of hair in bald areas.
  3. Medicines

3. Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia Universalis is the most advanced type of alopecia problem and it is observed as the total hair loss all over the body. Those who are suffering from this condition must take special care to guard themselves against the bacteria, sun and other extremely dangerous elements because the absence of hairs in the body leaves areas like the nasal cavity, eyes and scalp very exposed, 

Possible Treatments

  1. Even though there is no known cure for Alopecia Universalis, Intralesional Corticosteroid injections might help in such a situation. 
  2. A Hair Replacement System is the only option in alopecia universalis.

4. Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia Totalis is an auto-immune disorder that results in total hair loss, but on your scalp only. It is an intermediary condition between alopecia areata and alopecia Universalis. Alopecia totalis normally shows up in two types. The first being a fairly quick and complete hair loss in your head and the second being a slower type which starts as a patchy loss (alopecia areata) and converts to total hair loss in the scalp.

Possible Treatments:

  1. There are no reliable medical treatments but some medications that might work include Diphenylcyclopropenone. It is a topical drug that has been successful in treating Areata
  2. Hair Replacement Systems might also help.

5. Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a hair loss condition that results from damage to the hair follicle from continuous tension or pulling over a lengthy period. It usually happens in people (particularly women)who put on braids that are tight particularly "cornrows" that result in pulling, high tension and hair breakage. It can also occur as a consequence of any cosmetic surgery that generates hair tension, such as facelifts.

Possible Treatments:

  1. A hair transplant is the only permanent solution.

It has also been observed that some people can link the onset of their alopecia to a stressful life event, while many cannot. Sometimes the problems seem to run in the genes of families and it has been known to come on in twins at the same time.

If you are going through the problem of alopecia areata you also have a slightly higher-than-average chance of developing other autoimmune diseases like thyroid disorders, pernicious anaemia and vitiligo. Your doctor might want to check for the symptoms of these problems if there are any signs of them along with the hair loss.

What other signs or symptoms might occur with alopecia?

  • You may feel burning, tingling, or itchiness on your scalp
  • Your hair might break easily
  • You mighty feel problems with your fingernails or toenails, like notching or pitting
  • You may observe Scales or flakes from the areas of hair loss
  • You might also notice swelling and redness on your scalp

How is alopecia diagnosed?

  • Pull test:

To diagnose alopecia a pull test may be done. Your healthcare expert will tell you to not shower or wash your hair for 24 hours. They will gently tug on about 60 hairs. If more than 6 strands of hairs come out, they might be sent for tests.
  • Biopsy:

A punch biopsy is done to look at the condition of your scalp. Your healthcare expert will get 2 samples of scalp tissue and send them for tests.
  • Trichogramma:

This process measures hair loss and the expert will look at a hair under a microscope. They will also measure the different stages of hair growth.
  • Blood tests:

This might be done to find the cause of your alopecia.

    How is Alopecia Treated?

    The treatment for alopecia hair loss depends on the cause of your condition. Sometimes you lose hair and it may get better on its own and no treatment is needed. If your hair loss is related to a certain medication or drug that you are taking, then you must talk to your healthcare providers. There may be other medicines or drugs you could take instead that will not cause hair loss. If your suffering from severe hair loss, you might need one or more of the following treatments:

    1. Home Remedies for Alopecia

    • Although conventional treatments for alopecia areata are extremely limited, studies show that there are several natural remedies that people can try to treat alopecia.
    • Some experts recommend rubbing onion or garlic juice, cooled green tea, almond oil, rosemary oil, honey, or coconut milk or bhringraj into the scalp. While none of these is likely to cause harm, their effectiveness is also not supported by any research or study.  
    • Some people, who are suffering from this condition, even turn to alternative treatment methods such as acupuncture and aromatherapy.

    2. Medicines for Alopecia Treatment

    • Several hair growing agents may help promote hair growth. These medicines are supposed to be used continuously until new hair grows on the affected area.

    Minoxidil

    Minoxidil is a very popular medicine that is usually used for alopecia treatment and also for other hair loss issues. This solution needs to be applied to the affected areas twice a day until satisfactory results are achieved. 

    Finasteride

    Finasteride, yet another FDA approved drug, is used for the medical management of hair loss in men. It is a prescribed drug that is commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate issue, but a higher dosage of it is used to treat hair fall.

    Minoxidil and Finasteride solution 

    We can not rave about these two solutions enough. Minoxidil and Finasteride together is the best solution you can fetch to help you regrow your hair. Minoxidil is a vasodilator which means that it widens the blood vessels and helps the scalp get a better blood flow which will help the hair follicles to grow at a faster rate.

     

    • In a few cases, Steroids may help decrease inflammation and damage to your hair follicle. Corticosteroids might be used to treat alopecia areata.
    • Estrogen is a hormone in a female that is used for women with hyperandrogenism or high levels of male hormones. Estrogen levels can reduce the effects of male hormones on hair growth. This treatment is used in women who are suffering from female pattern baldness.
    • Several immunologic agents affect immune system cells that may be responsible for attacking hair follicles. This treatment is particularly used to treat alopecia areata.
    • There are a few antibiotics or antifungals that may be needed if your alopecia is caused by an infection.

    3. Hair Transplant Surgery 

    The hair transplant surgery removes hair follicles from one part of your head and puts them into the bald area. This is usually done only if your condition is pretty much severe and medicines fail to improve your hair loss problem. You must ask your healthcare provider for more information about hair transplant surgery. 

    Take Away

    Hair loss is a natural process and it can be treated if you follow the above steps carefully. You should not be ashamed of it, instead, you can talk to your doctor and ask for a proven and certified solution to grow back your hair or prevent hair loss. 

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