Hair Loss

Types of Hair Loss

  • Hair loss with scars: This is caused by some skin conditions or infections that lead to permanent hair loss.
  • Hair loss without scars: This can be a natural condition, by inflammation or from patient’s own immune response. The hair grows back because the hair follicles are still there.

Causes of Hair Loss

  • Stress, surgery, chronic fever, childbirth, emotional shock and poor nutrition
  • Hormonal changes and thyroid problems
  • Medications
  • Drug allergy
  • Chemo-Radiation therapy
  • Infections, such as syphilis, HIV and herpes zoster
  • Immune disorder
  • SLE or DLE (Systemic/Discoid Lupus Erythematosus)
  • Anemia
  • Hairstyles that pull the hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows 
  • Hair pulling disorder due to mental conditions
  • Hereditary factors

Risk Factors of Hair Loss

  • Family history of hair loss
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition 

Symptoms of Hair Loss

Hair loss can appear in different ways. It can be observed as a widened central hair parting or gradual thinning on top of the head. Some people experience circular or patchy bald spots. Handfuls of hair may come out when the hair is grabbed, even gently. Scalp infections may cause dark spots, itchiness, scaly patches, inflammation or pus.

Diagnosis of Hair Loss

As part of the diagnostic process, the doctor may take an extensive history, as well as perform physical examination and laboratory tests, such as taking samples from a few hairs plucked from the scalp for investigation.  Blood tests may be required to check for any underlying medical conditions.

Treatment of Hair Loss

  • Depends on the cause
  • Lifestyle changes, such as treating hair gently and avoiding stress
  • Surgery, including:
    • Hair Transplant: This procedure involves removing plugs of skin containing a few hairs from the back or sides of the scalp and implanting these plugs into the bald sections of the scalp.
    • Scalp Reduction: This procedure involves removing affected parts of the scalp, and then stretching and re-positioning the healthier parts of the scalp over the affected are, thus reducing the balding area.
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