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How Does a Dermatologist Diagnose Hair Loss?

What Do Dermatologists Prescribe for Hair Loss?

Today, many people experience hair loss due to various reasons. If this problem is not treated on time and in the right way, it can lead to baldness. Therefore, it is important to see a specialist dermatologist as soon as the loss is noticed. So how do dermatologists diagnose hair loss? What treatments do they apply after the diagnosis? We have gathered for you the answers to these questions and other details.

How does a dermatologist diagnose hair loss? What can he prescribe? At what stage should you see a dermatologist? All the answers are in our article.

How Does a Dermatologist Diagnose Hair Loss?

Hair loss has different reasons. Loss may occur due to reasons such as hormones, stress, physical and emotional trauma, side effects of medications, and nutritional deficiencies. The fact that loss is experienced because of different reasons causes the use of different techniques for the diagnosis to be used. The suitable ones are used based on the person’s medical history and story. The methods and techniques used by dermatologists to diagnose hair loss are as follows:

Physical Examination

When you go to a dermatologist with the complaint of hair loss, he will first examine your scalp closely. It is examined for redness, inflammation, and other physical symptoms. Such symptoms give important information about the causes of loss. Besides, some additional methods can be applied during the checking of the scalp by physical examination.

  • Card Test

This test is used to detect newly emerging hair strands and hair fiber thickness and is quite simple. A part of the scalp is determined and a small card covered with felt is held on this area. It is expected that the color of the felt on the card and the color of the hair will create a contrast. Thanks to this process, new hairs and thin ones in the area can be easily detected. If the number of thin strands is high, this is considered a sign of telogen effluvium.

  • Pulling Test

Another method during the physical examination is the pulling test. In this technique, hair strands are gently pulled one by one from certain parts of the scalp. An average of 30-40 pulls is made. If more than 5-6 hairs come off during this process, this situation is considered one of the important signs of loss.

Read Also: How Do You Know When Telogen Effluvium is Ending?

Blood Tests

Loss can be caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by hormonal imbalance and a wrong diet. Blood tests are done to find out if such a situation exists. These blood tests may differ depending on the person’s condition and history. Besides, the results obtained from the physical examination and other tests are also taken into account in determining the tests to be applied. Blood tests to be done include:

  • Androgynous

Imbalances in androgen hormone, which is a class of testosterone, can cause hair loss along with different problems in the body. Therefore, to understand whether the loss is caused by an imbalance in this hormone, the androgen level is checked with a blood test.

  • Thyroid Disease

Hair loss is among the symptoms of thyroid diseases such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland produces certain hormones that regulate body metabolism. When these disorders occur, the thyroid gland cannot fully perform its function. This may result in the related hormone gland increasing the level of hormones that attack or negatively affect hair follicles. Your dermatologist may ask for a blood test to detect such a problem.

  • Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is among the most important causes of hair loss. If you don’t have a healthy diet, your body may have less iron than it required. This may bring different health problems along with hair loss.

Trichometric Analysis

Trichometric analysis is the analysis of the scalp and hair strands with a high-resolution microscopic camera. During this process, which is performed with the help of a special device, the scalp and hair strands are examined very closely and possible problems are easily detected.


If lesions are detected on the scalp, a biopsy of these may be requested depending on the patient’s history. Generally, this method is used when the desired results cannot be obtained from other methods or when it is thought that there may be different reasons for the loss. It is also done to distinguish between cicatricial and scarring alopecia types.

A sample is taken from the lesions using a special tool for biopsy. After the piece is taken with this pen-sized tool, the area is sutured and the incision is closed.c

Fungus Culture

It is a test to understand whether the loss is experienced due to reasons such as alopecia or a fungal infection called tinea capitis. It is performed on skin and hair samples taken from the scalp.

Read Also: Let Your Doctor Take Care of Every Stage with VIP DHI Hair Transplantation

What Can a Dermatologist Do for Hair Loss?

When you go to a dermatologist for hair loss, the source or cause of the problem will be determined first. As it is known, loss occurs due to different reasons, and treatments suitable to these reasons are applied. Therefore, first of all, tests and examinations will be carried out to determine the reason for hair loss.

If the loss is caused by different medical conditions such as infection or thyroid disease, he will first direct you to the specialist physician in the relevant field for their treatment. If conditions such as alopecia areata have been detected, he may prescribe medication for them.

Depending on the type of hair loss, he may also recommend methods such as PRP treatment and hair mesotherapy in addition to drug therapy. Such methods will positively affect the scalp and hair follicles and reduce the loss. However, these may not be suitable for everyone. Your doctor will decide if you are eligible for these.

When to See a Dermatologist for Hair Loss?

Loss of up to 100 hair strands per day is considered normal. If the amount lost is more, you may start considering it a problem. If you think that you are experiencing more loss than before, and if there is more hair on your pillow than in the past, you should see a dermatologist. Thus, you ensure the early diagnosis of the loss and have a significant advantage for treatment.

How Much Does It Cost To See a Dermatologist For Hair Loss?

Seeing a dermatologist for hair loss is often covered by health insurance. If you have valid health insurance, you can be examined by a dermatologist free of charge. But you will have to pay for dermatologists in private clinics. Although the amounts vary, on average it is around $100 – $300. Besides, it should be noted that these amounts are charged only for examination and additional fees will be charged for the treatments to be applied.

What Do Dermatologists Prescribe for Hair Loss?

What to Ask a Dermatologist about Hair Loss?

When you go to a specialist dermatologist for hair loss, there are some questions you should ask. With these questions, you understand the problem more clearly, and you get information about how the process progresses. Some of these questions are:

Why is My Hair Falling Out?

Loss happens due to different reasons. Sometimes it can even happen due to a reason that is in your hands and that you can control. If the loss is due to such reasons, you may prevent your hair from falling out in the future with the simple precautions you take.

What Treatments Will You Apply for the Loss?

Various methods are applied depending on the cause of the loss. Special shampoos, oral pills or topical medications applied to the scalp can be used for the treatment of hair loss. Learning the things you need to be careful about and acting under your doctor’s instructions will positively affect the treatment process.

Will My Hair Grow Back?

The answer to this question varies depending on the cause of the loss. Hair loss due to some reasons stops completely with treatment and the hair can regrow. And sometimes, the desired results may not be achieved despite the treatment.

When Will My Hair Return to its Original State?

Having your old hair back is closely related to the success of the treatment to be applied. Even when the treatment is successful, sometimes it may take months for the hair to return to its original state.

Read Also: 16 Harmful Ingredients in Your Shampoos That Cause Hair Loss

What Do Dermatologists Prescribe for Hair Loss?

Some medications are widely used in the treatment of hair loss. General details are as follows:


Approved by the FDA for the treatment of male pattern hair loss, this medication slows down hair loss and encourages new hair growth. Taking this oral pill form at the same time every day will ensure the best results.

Finasteride, like other hair loss treatments, shows results in the long term. Noticeable changes are usually seen after 4 months. However, if you use it from the beginning of the loss, you can get more effective results.

Finasteride is used for hereditary male pattern baldness. It is not suitable for use for other types of loss. It should also be kept in mind that it is a suitable drug for those who are not pregnant, not breastfeeding, and who do not have a pregnancy plan.

If you have positive results after starting to use this medicine, you should continue to use it. If you stop using the medicine, your hair loss will tend to come back.


This medication developed for female pattern hair loss slows down the loss and hair thickness is increased. It is known that it is successful in about 40% of female pattern hair loss. In a study involving 166 women, it was reported that 42% of women had mild improvement and 31% had increased hair thickness.

It is very important not to become pregnant while using this medicine. There is a risk of causing birth defects. Therefore, during the use of this drug, a birth control pill will also be prescribed by your doctor.

Other Medications

If there is painful inflammation or infection, different medications will be prescribed by your dermatologist to treat them.

The medications that are effective in the treatment of hair loss are shared here for purely informative purposes. You should not use these without being examined by a specialist dermatologist and without the approval of your doctor. Since hair loss can occur for different reasons, using these medications without the approval of a doctor may do more harm than good.

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