Hair Loss (Alopecia)
For many people, hair loss can impact self-esteem and ultimately influence their desire to participate in certain activities. If you are experiencing hair loss (alopecia) or shedding, then perhaps you have been searching for resources that can help. Our practitioners are dedicated to providing our patients with the proper information to understand the cause of their hair loss. We will work to create a customized treatment plan that works for each of them.
Types of Hair Loss
People may experience several types of hair loss. Our practice focuses primarily on the following:
Male and Female Androgenic Alopecia:
Male and female androgenic alopecia, commonly referred to as male and female pattern baldness, is a permanent hair loss with a genetic cause. While this type of hair loss can impact both men and women, the pattern is different. For men, baldness typically occurs at the top and front of the hairline, and for women, it usually occurs at the top and crown of the head.
Telogen effluvium refers to a type of hair loss that is caused by stress and reversible, with thinning occurring mostly at the top of the scalp. When a person experiences a significant amount of stress, it can actually cause the hair follicles to enter a resting phase. As a person naturally sheds hair, new hair fails to grow back, which leads to thinning and baldness.
Tinea capitis, also called ringworm of the scalp, is identified by dry and itchy bald patches. With proper treatment, the hair may regrow, but sometimes cases are so severe that the baldness is permanent.
Treatment for Hair Loss:
Fortunately, there are treatment options available for hair loss that may lead to hair regrowth. While some patients may experience hair regrowth independently, dermatologists are often able to suggest treatments to speed up the process.
At-Home Treatment Options
Not every type of hair loss requires extensive treatment. In some cases, at-home treatments may be a practical option. Common ones include:
Topical creams, such as Rogaine, may stimulate hair growth and prevent additional loss. This type of treatment is applied to the scalp as directed and typically takes several weeks to see results. Results stop once the person ceases treatment.
Oral medications may be an option for some hair loss patients. Typically, the pill must be taken daily and a few months must pass before visible results are noticed.
FDA-approved laser hats have been used to stimulate hair growth. While there havs not been much research conducted, the results indicate that a small number of patients using laser hats achieved hair regrowth.
In some cases, more invasive treatments may be necessary to promote hair regrowth. Procedures available for hair stimulation include:
Injections of Corticosteroids:
Your dermatologist injects this medication into the scalp’s impacted area every 4 to 8 weeks. It is most effective for patients who have a few bald patches as a result of alopecia areata.
Numerous tiny needles work to stimulate hair growth. Typically, this process takes about 12 weeks before results are seen.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
This process requires that patients have their blood drawn and then put into a machine so that the plasma is separated from it. The plasma is then injected into the bald area of the scalp. This treatment is completed once per month for the first three months and then every three to six months for optimal results.
Expected Outcomes from Early Treatment
While early treatment often provides the best chance for correcting baldness, it is important to note that results will vary from patient to patient. Not every type of hair loss can be reversed, but in some cases, specific treatments may be able to prevent additional loss.
Keep in mind that some patients may need to try numerous treatments before they find the right solution for them. Even once the proper treatment is identified, it may take several weeks or months before achieving results.
How We Can Help
Our knowledgeable practitioners specialize in treating various hair, nail, and skin conditions via topical, oral, and procedural solutions. We work to properly diagnose the cause of your hair loss and create a customized plan to slow down hair loss and improve hair growth. By working together, we will help you to understand your condition and help you achieve realistic and pleasing results.
Hair Loss Resource Center (aad.org)
Dermatology Education | Skin Diseases Effecting Skin of Color (skinofcolorsociety.org)
Hair loss – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic