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While daily shedding of hair is normal, if you notice increased hair shedding, your hair becoming thinner or bald patches developing, you should be evaluated for one of the many hair loss conditions. With so many causes and a multitude of treatment options, it is important to make an appointment with your dermatologist to see what treatments are best for you.
Alopecia, commonly referred to as hair loss, is shedding of hair from the head that far exceeds the normal shedding humans experience on a regular basis. On average, people lose about 50 to 100 hairs from their head each day; hair loss in excess of this may indicate the presence of a condition. In some cases, hair loss can affect the entire body. It can be a temporary condition or it can be permanent. While hair loss on the head is most common in men, it can be found in any individual.
Hair loss can come in many different forms. One common way hair loss presents is in excessive shedding of hairs from the head. This may appear as thinning in the hair at the top of the head or in a receding hairline. Patients may also experience patches of baldness around the head, as well.
There are a number of factors that could contribute to hair loss. If the condition persists or worsens, it is important to meet with a physician to find the underlying cause. Below are six common causes of hair loss.
For those with hereditary hair loss, the most common treatment is the topical application of Rogaine or Propecia. These over the counter medications can come in liquid, foam or shampoo form. In some cases, people may wish to undergo hair transplant surgery, which involves transplanting hair from dense parts of the head to thinning areas.There are multiple topical, oral and injectable treatments available once a diagnosis is made.
It may be recommended that you start a series of vitamins or supplements depending on the cause of hair loss. These include iron, biotin and other possible over-the-counter oral supplements. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis from a physician before starting any supplements. Stress reduction may also be helpful.
There are a number of different topical treatments that can be used to help aid in hair growth. These include over-the-counter minoxidil, prescription shampoos and topical steroids depending on the type of hair loss. If the condition is caused by a fungal infection, topical and/or oral antifungals may be prescribed as well. Your doctor will help come up with a plan that best fits your condition.
For both men and women, oral treatments may be recommended. These options include spironolactone (for women only) and finasteride. Your doctor will discuss all risks and benefits with you prior to prescribing these medications.
For alopecia areata, intralesional injections directly into the areas with a steroid may improve the condition. It can take multiple treatments over many months separated by six weeks before results can be seen.