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As board certified dermatologists, we are the experts in hair loss diagnosis and treatment.
What is Hair Loss (Alopecia)?
Hair loss is called alopecia. Hair loss may occur anywhere, but most patients seeking a dermatologic opinion about hair loss are concerned with scalp hair loss. Hair loss may be associated with inflammation (i.e. dermatitis) or not. Hair loss may be temporary or permanent, progressive and/or episodic. Inflammatory conditions that cause hair loss may be itchy or painful and cause permanent replacement of hair with scarring.
What causes Hair Loss (Alopecia)?
Many conditions and diseases, as well as improper hair care can cause hair loss.
Inflammatory skin conditions (i.e. skin rashes or infections) can cause hair loss as well as non-inflammatory causes. Ringworm of the scalp, a contagious fungal infection of the scalp is most common in children.
Non-inflammatory alopecia causes include:
- hereditary thinning or baldness, the most common type of scalp alopecia;
- stress, including childbirth, major surgery, high fever or severe infection, even the flu;
- cancer treatments;
- various disease states, especially, anemia or thyroid disease;
- hormone imbalances, especially in women;
- inadequate dietary protein or iron as in eating disorders, anorexia or bulimia; and
- alopecia areata among others.
Alopecia areata is a relatively common auto-immune-caused type of hair loss that causes hair to fall out in somewhat round spots.
Other causes of hair loss include hair breakage due to excessive or improper coloring, perms or relaxers and hairstyles like ponytails or braids that may pull on hair too much. Excessive or overly-vigorous combing or brushing may cause hair breakage or pull out hair.
How is Hair Loss (Alopecia) treated?
Hair loss treatment starts with identifying the likely cause or causes by examination and / or lab or pathology tests.
Treatment recommendations vary widely and depend upon the cause or type of hair loss. Alopecia caused by underlying medical diseases or conditions require treatment of the underlying medical condition.
Hereditary hair loss (aka androgenetic hair loss) may be treated with anti-androgens, minoxidil and/or finasteride and/or autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
Alopecia areata is usually treated with topical and/or intralesional corticosteroids.
Medications for hair loss that a dermatologist may recommend or prescribe include topicals minoxidil, corticosteroids, and/or oral Propecia (finasteride) among other treatments depending upon the nature of the hair loss.
Ancillary recommendations may include: oral vitamins, minerals, other nutritional supplements, shampoos, low level laser (low light laser; aka LLLT) or LED (light emitting diode) therapy (hats).
Evaluation by one of our dermatology providers will help diagnose your condition, determine whether or not any further work-up or referrals is recommended and include advice and/or a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan.
Treatment may include skin or hair care tips, over-the-counter and prescription medications and other treatments, including the rationale for treatment, risks, side effects and prognosis.
Contact us at email@example.com or call us at (702) 243-6400 to schedule an alopecia evaluation and treatment consultation.