Currently, treatment is not consistently covered by insurance for dermatologic conditions. For Reinhart, treatment has helped her regrow not only her hair but also her confidence. She continues to take the medication daily to avoid possible relapse. She is back at school and has been elected to student council this year. She goes to dances and has many friends, including a supportive boyfriend. King's research. To make an appointment with Dr.
King, click here. Three types of alopecia areata. Alopecia areata: Hair falls out typically in circular or oval patches. It affects the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes and beard. Alopecia totalis: Patients lose all the hair on their scalps.
Alopecia universalis: Hair loss involves the entire body. With alopecia areata, immune cells attack hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. Credit: Robert A.
Related Doctors. Call for an appointment. Pediatric Dermatology. Some sufferers say they feel compelled to pull out their eyelashes, nose hairs, eyebrows, and other hairs on their bodies. Hormones and stress Giving birth: After giving birth, some women have noticeable hair loss. Falling estrogen levels cause this type of hair loss. The hair loss is temporary. In a few months, women see their hair re-grow.
Read " Hair loss in new moms " and learn tips from dermatologists to help your hair regain its normal fullness. Menopause: Hair loss is common during menopause. This loss is often temporary. Hair re-grows with time. If a woman is 40 years of age or older, she should not expect her hair to have the fullness that it did when she was younger. Stress: Experiencing a traumatic event e. Dieting and poor nutrition Weight loss: Some people see hair loss after losing more than 15 pounds.
The hair loss often appears 3 to 6 months after losing the weight. This hair loss is common. The hair re-grows without help. Vitamin A: Too much vitamin A can cause hair loss. People can get too much of this vitamin through vitamin supplements or medicines. Once the body stops getting too much vitamin A, normal hair growth resumes. Protein: When the body does not get enough protein, it rations the protein it does get. One way the body can ration protein is to shut down hair growth.
About 2 to 3 months after a person does not eat enough protein, you can see the hair loss. Eating more protein will stop the hair loss. Meats, eggs, and fish are good sources of protein. Vegetarians can get more protein by adding nuts, seeds, and beans to their diet. Iron: Not getting enough iron can lead to hair loss. Good vegetarian sources of iron are iron-fortified cereals, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, white beans, lentils, and spinach. Clams, oysters, and organ meats top the list of good animal sources of iron.
Eating disorder: When a person has an eating disorder, hair loss is common. Anorexia not eating enough and bulimia vomiting after eating can cause hair loss. Medicine Some prescription medicines can cause hair loss. These include: Blood thinners. High-dose vitamin A. Medicines that treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, and high blood pressure. Birth control pills: Some women who take the pill see hair loss. Sometimes, the hair loss begins when a women stops taking the pill.
Women who get this hair loss often have hereditary hair loss. Anabolic steroids steroids taken to build muscle and improve athletic performance may cause hair loss.
Hair care Your hairstyle and even some of the products you use on your hair can cause hair loss. Products: Frequent bleaching or permanents can cause the hair to break. Regular or improper use of dyes, gels, relaxers, and hair sprays also can cause hair breakage. Dermatologists recommend limiting use of these hair products. Less use often means less hair breakage. Blow dryers, flat irons, and other devices: Frequent use of a blow dryer tends to damage hair. The high heat from a blow dryer can boil the water in the hair shaft leaving the hair brittle and prone to breakage. Dermatologists recommend that you allow your hair to air dry.
Then style your hair when it is dry. Dermatologists also recommend limiting the use of flat irons these straighten hair by using high heat and curling irons. Hairpins, clips, and rubber bands: When used to hold hair tightly, hairpins, clips, and rubber bands can break hair. Improper washing, drying, and combing The following practices often cause the hair to break: Too much shampooing, combing, or brushing strokes or more a day. Rubbing wet hair dry with a towel.
Brushing or combing wet hair especially people who are Asian or Caucasian. Central centrifugal cicatrical alopecia: If a woman is concerned about hair loss, she should see a dermatologist. The earlier treatment begins, the better the outcome. How do dermatologists treat hair loss? One or more of the following treatments may be part of your treatment plan. Treatment available without a prescription Minoxidil: This medicine is applied to the scalp. It can stop hairs from getting thinner and stimulate hair growth on the top of the scalp.
The U. It is the only hair re-growth product approved for men and women. A dermatologist may combine minoxidil with another treatment. Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known. Finasteride works by stopping the body from making a male hormone, dihydrotestosterone DHT.
Corticosteroid: If your hair loss is caused by inflammation in your body, a dermatologist may inject a medicine called a corticosteroid into your scalp. This can help stop the inflammation that happens when a person has alopecia areata. A corticosteroid is different from an anabolic steroid. To achieve the best results, a dermatologist may use one or more of the following procedures: Hair transplantation: Skin on the scalp that has good hair growth is removed and transplanted to areas of the scalp that need hair. Scalp reduction: Bald scalp is surgically removed and hair-bearing scalp is brought closer together to reduce balding.
Scalp reduction surgery can be performed alone or in conjunction with a hair transplant. Scalp expansion: Devices are inserted under the scalp for about 3 to 4 weeks to stretch the skin. This procedure may be performed before a scalp reduction to make the scalp more lax.
It also can be performed solely to stretch hair-bearing areas, which reduces balding. In particular cases, hair loss treatment may allow the thinned hair to be regrown. When hair loss appears to be permanent and stable, some interventions may simply make the thinned area appear more full and acceptable to the patient. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.
This includes the loss of visible hair or hair shaft, and the loss of the skin structure that makes hair, which is called the hair follicle. Zelac explains.
When the follicles are affected, the hair loss is often related to conditions in the scalp, such as irritation, scale and scarring. When alopecia happens gradually, it may just be due to aging. Hereditary hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss, affecting about 80 million individuals in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Specifically, it is known as female or male-pattern baldness. Age and family history are often factors.
However, in some cases, a biopsy of the skin is needed to confirm the diagnosis. More than 50 percent of men over the age of 50 will be affected by male-pattern baldness, which is often characterized by a receding hairline or thinning of the hair on the back or vertex of the scalp. Women tend to keep their hairline, but experience thinning hair, with the first sign of hair loss being a widening part.