Hair loss is an annoying problem that can be seen in both women and men. The gradual thinning of the hair or the thinning and baldness due to hair loss in some areas negatively affect your overall appearance. You are probably looking for different ways to cover up this negativity. However, you do not have to do research on this subject or try different ways. Instead, you can learn the problem clearly and get a correct treatment program advice by examination from a specialist dermatologist. How can a dermatologist help with your hair loss problem? What can it do and what can’t it do?
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What is the Root Cause of Hair Loss?
There are different causes of hair loss, and most of them are linked to genetic factors. If you have a family history of hair loss or baldness, you may be more likely to experience such a situation. Hair loss may occur due to hormonal changes, stress and any thyroid problem, especially during pregnancy and menopause.
Certain medications and medical conditions are also associated with hair loss. Alopecia areata, which causes hair loss in patches, is an example of this situation. Similarly, some infections can cause hair loss. Shedding may occur due to the side effects of some medications used for diseases such as high blood pressure, heart diseases and depression. Chemotherapy drugs used in cancer treatment and radiotherapy applied to the head area also trigger hair loss.
Important Tips About Hair Loss
Hair loss is a part of the natural process. Depending on this process, up to 100 strands of hair loss can occur daily. For many people, the figure may seem too high. However, when you consider that there are around 100,000 hairs on your scalp in total, it becomes clearer that the number 100 is insignificant.
When the number of the hair loss in the scalp starts to become more than 100, it should be taken into account that something is wrong. The follicles in the scalp have a certain growth phase. The details of these phases are as follows:
- Anagen Phase: It is the growth period and lasts about 2 to 7 years. Most of the follicles are in this phase.
- Catagen Phase: This is the phase in which the follicles begin to become small.
- Telogen Phase: It is the resting phase of the follicles and can last for several months.
- Exogenous Phase: It is the phase in which growth begins again.
Sometimes the growth rate of new hair is not fast enough to replace the lost ones. In such cases, sparseness and baldness occur. The scientific name of hair loss is alopecia and the this loss can occur in different ways.
In general, this problem can be categorized as; thinning, retraction of the front hairline, sudden clumps of hair, and baldness on the head. In severe hair loss, loss and baldness may occur in every part of the head.
Hair Loss in Men
Hair loss is a problem that can be both seen in men and women. Men usually have this problem due to male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is quite common and its effects increases with age.
1 in 2 men experience this problem after the age of 40. Accordingly, over time, retractions in the front hairline and thinning and loss of the hair will occur.
The hair loss mentioned here in general terms can happen to many men. However, this is not the only reason for hair loss in men, and there are different reasons for this loss. These can be summarized as follows:
Depending on the side effects of some medications used, hair loss may occur. The loss of the aforementioned type might be temporary as well as permanent.
Hair loss may occur due to low testosterone level or thyroid disorders. Abnormal changes in hormone levels can cause hair thinning and loss. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure can negatively affect hair growth by causing changes in hormone levels.
Scarred alopecia refers to an inflammatory condition that causes follicles to disappear. It can cause permanent hair loss if not treated quickly. It occurs due to wrong and poor quality hair care products and tight and wrong hairstyles.
Experiencing Stress or Devastating Events
Due to a devastating events or intense stress, the level of cortisol and other hormones can rise, which leads to hair loss. If the stress is relieved, the hair loss usually stops and the lost hair grows back. This type of hair loss is called Telogen Effluvium.
The most important cause of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness. The first step to stop hair loss due to male pattern baldness or a different reason is to see a specialist dermatologist.
Read Also: Does Hair Grow Back after Stopping Testosterone?
Hair Loss in Women
Although it is not as widely covered in the media as male pattern baldness, female pattern hair loss is also quite common. 5% of women experience hair loss due to different reasons until the age of 50. This is a frustrating and stressful situation for women. If not treated properly on time, it can negatively affect the self-esteem and confidence of the person.
There are different reasons behind hair loss in women. The most common ones of these can be summarized as follows:
Androgenetic alopecia is a condition that can also occur in women. Although it does not cause retraction of the hairline as in men, it can cause baldness, especially in the crown area.
Just like in men, intense stress can trigger hair loss in different ways in women.
During pregnancy, some women may have more follicles than normal in the resting phase. This can cause the hair to appear thinner or hair loss.
Hir loss may occur due to hormonal changes due to different reasons, from thyroid disorders to menopause.
Scar alopecia, which can result in irreversible follicle damage, can also occur in women.
Traction alopecia or CCCA can occur due to tight hairstyles and styles that create a constant pulling force on the follicles.
Due to anemia and iron deficiency related to nutrition, the amount of nutrients going to the follicles decreases. This increases the risk of hair loss.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy used in cancer treatment can cause hair loss. This hair loss may not be limited to the hair alone and may include all body hair.
Before Seeing a Dermatologist Could These Changes Work?
Sometimes habits, lifestyles and conditions can be the root cause of hair loss. The main goal here is to identify these problems and solve them. As a result, hair follicles are expected to give a natural response. Some of the reasons behind and the details about them are as follows:
- Examine the products you use for your hair. These can cause different problems and growth problems in the long run.
- Pay attention to your hairstyle. Tight styles and products used for this purpose can lead to traction alopecia or CCCA.
- Stress can trigger hair loss in different ways. Look for ways to eliminate or reduce stress.
- Sometimes hair loss may be related to eating habits and diet. Make sure you have enough iron and zinc in your diet. You can supplement other hair loss treatments by including vegetables, leafy greens and whole grains in your diet.
Medication and counseling support required in this area can be provided by the dermatologist.
What Are the Specialties of a Dermatologist?
When a dermatologist is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is acne and psoriasis. But dermatologists do not only deal with these diseases. Apart from these, they have expertise in skin, nail and hair treatment.
Dermatologists receive scientific training for more than 10 years in how to diagnose and treat different hair and skin conditions. In this process, they not only receive theoretical training, but also undergo practical training processes.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that dermatologists have received 4 years of language training, 4 years of medicine, 1 year of assistant and 3 years of intern training. Therefore, dermatologists have serious expertise in diagnosing and treating skin and hair conditions.
Candidates who have completed the long and arduous training process must pass a rigorous exam to determine their qualifications. Those who pass this exam can receive board certification.
When you have a problem with your hair, a dermatologist will help you understand what the problem is. After the diagnosis, they can plan the appropriate treatment or refer you to a different specialist.
How Do They Diagnose Hair Loss?
When you go to a dermatologist for hair loss, you will first be asked questions about your medical history, medications you use, your lifestyle, and the change in your problem over time. After this information is received, the first examination will be done and other parts of the body can be examined to detect the loss.
They can perform different tests to determine the health of the hair, or to examine the shape and fatigue of the hair strands.
In order to determine the exact reason behind the spills, your doctor may request a blood test to rule out vitamin and mineral deficiency and similar problems. In addition, a sample can be taken from your scalp to detect fungal infections such as ringworm and tinea.
All these actions will show you exactly the reason behind hair loss. Thus, your diagnosis will be made correctly.
For example; If the information from the tests includes that your hair comes in clumps and you have recently experienced a stressful event, it can be stated that the reason for the loss is Telogen Effluvium.
Which Treatments Can Help?
After the diagnosis of hair loss is made, treatment methods will be evaluated. Treatments can help slow down or stop hair loss, as well as contribute to faster hair growth. However, it should not be forgotten that genetic and age-related hair loss is untreatable.
In medical cases that cause hair loss such as infection or thyroid problem, the aforementioned disorders should be eliminated first. In such cases, you will be referred to different specialists by your dermatologist. For medical conditions such as alopecia areata, your dermatologist may prescribe medication or recommend over-the-counter treatments.
Depending on the problem experienced, in-office treatment methods such as PRP treatment may sometimes be preferred. In addition, it should be noted that some treatments may need to be taken more than once in hair growth.
To prevent future hair loss, your dermatologist may recommend some lifestyle and dietary changes. These may include rearranging your diet or your hairstyles.
Hair loss is a complex process. COSMETICIUM team can recommend you the most effective treatment after making the most accurate diagnosis with experience. Our dermatologists can plan special treatment methods for you to solve the hair loss problem permanently. You can contact us for more detailed information on the subject.
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