Physiologically, daily we lose 50-80 hair strands which are replaced with new ones. The condition in which hair loses more strands than it creates is called effluvium. If this process does not stop , then baldness occurs – medically known as alopecia.

Alopecia is characterized by loss of hair or strands and can be temporary or permanent.

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The most common disease of the hair, where the symptoms thinning and lack of hair are:

Symptomatic Effluvium

It is a transient hair loss, which occurs as a result of damage to the fibrous follicle from exogenous or endogenous factors.

The most common reasons that lead to this type of diffuse hair loss are:

  • Severe mental stress
  • Strict diets
  • Childbirth
  • Malnutrition
  • Iron deficiency-anemia
  • Disorder of thyroid gland function
  • Severe infections
  • High febrile condition
  • Surgries

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Certain medications – anticonvulsants , antidepressants , beta -blockers , anticoagulants , medicines for acne that contain vitamin A ( oral retinoids ) , drugs for thyroid disorders , oral contraceptives and NSAIDs – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , drugs to lower cholesterol levels , hormone therapy , etc.

Clinical picture : The main symptom is increased and sudden loss of hair , because it occurs diffusely thinning hair . A day can fall from 150 to 1,000 strands.

Diagnosis is based on clinical and trihogram results ( microscopic examination of hair roots )

Treatment depends on the cause that cause diffuse hair loss. Once the cause will be repaired, hair spontaneously re-grows.

Androgenetic alopecia

This is the most common type of alopecia occurring as a result of androgen stimulation of hair follicles. It is a genetically inherited disease, where as the name suggests, hair loss is induced by androgens. This type of alopecia is more common at men, but affects women.

The clinical picture is different with men and women.

Males androgenetic alopecia

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With men, the process of hair loss usually begins in the third decade. It consists of 4 degrees. In the first degree occur etc. “Secret corners” in frontal, front of the head. In the second stage, despite the presence of “secret corners” which are more starker occurs thinning in the center, but there are still “strandal bridges” between stripped locations. In the third level, “bridges of strands” absent, and in the fourth degree, is present only “crown of hair” – hypocratil baldness.

From this type of alopecia sufferer all men from the white population.

Females androgenetic alopecia

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With women androgen alopecia begins around age 30, and intensify the mid forties. The process of hair loss takes place in three stages.In the first stage, thinning hair is limited and doesnt affects the bangs or hair remains unchanged in 1-3 inches directly above the forehead. In the second stage, thinning in the central part is more pronounced, but the width of hair bangs unchanged. At the third level there is a complete baldness in the center, so that in front there are still locks of hair – bangs stored. When androgen alopecia in women, it is possible simultaneously to call harry increased above the upper lip and limbs.

Diagnosis is set by clinical and trihogram result.

Androgen treatment of alopecia of the women includes topical application of the solutions and oral estrogen therapy with antiandrogens in combination with estrogens. (Be careful of contraindications!). At men, the treatment includes topical application of 2% minoxidil and finasteride oral therapy. Hair transplantation is another solution.

Unfortunately, the prognosis for this type of alopecia is unfavorable.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata represents a sudden loss of hair, which manifests itself in a well-limited round or oval areas.

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The causes of this type of alopecia is not fully defined. Genetic predisposition plays its rold, but also the impact of other factors such as emotional stress and the presence of chronic inflammatory foci (teeth, sinuses, throat, etc.).

The reason for alopecia areata is presumed the disruption of the immune system, ie its direction against its own organism – autoimmunity. The fact that a number of autoimmune diseases, including vitiligo, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and systemic lupus associated with this type of alopecia, further supports this theory.

Clinical picture: there are three phases at alopecia areata. First phase progression is characterized by one or more spots where hair loss begins. Skin in places where hair falls out is smooth and shiny. At this stage, hairs in the affected area easily break off. With the spread of hotspots, a process that often takes weeks, can lead to their merger and the formation of more denuded area of the head. The second phase is the phase stabilization period when hair or decline or rise, followed by a phase of regression.

The illness usually lasts 3-6 months, and in most cases the hair grows back. But the evolution of this disease is very uncertain, because there are cases where still appear new hot spots, which can involve the entire scalp and other body parts. In aggressive course of alopecia areata, the loss of all hair happens 10-15 days.

Diagnosis is set with clinical picture and microscopic examination of the roots of the hairs – trihogram.

The treatment aims to stimulate follicle re-production of the hair. It might be:

  • Local therapy: salicylic acid in alcoholic solution, cignolin, corticosteroid ointments, topical immunotherapy, intradermal administration of triamcinolone acetonide, etc.
  • General therapy: systemic corticosteroids and UVA therapy.

Unfortunately, the outcome of the disease is often unpredictable.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is selfindicated alopecia, in which hair loss is due to deliberate and often unconsciously plucking the hairs. This condition is typical of children and usually unconscious response to temporary stress. At the adults it is less common and is the result of a mental disorder.

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People who suffer from this disease by plucking the hairs reduce psychological tension, after which feel pleasure and calm. The most commonly affected areas of the scalp that are easy to grasp with their hands, but in some cases are involved eyebrows and eyelashes. If the person is right-handed, the changes in the parts of the scalp that are easily accessible by the right hand and vice versa.

Diagnosis: Before it is set a definitive diagnosis that it is trichotillomania, it is necessary to exclude other diseases that produce similar symptoms, such as alopecia areata or tinea capitis (fungal disease okosmeniot of the head – scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes).

Treatment depends on the cause that led to the emergence of the disease and usually involves consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Dystrophic Effluvium

This type of alopecia is caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The condition is characterized by diffusive hair loss, usually after treatment that led its loss, the hair recovers.

NOTE: If you notice increased hair loss, see your doctor to find the cause and, if necessary timely manner to appropriate therapy.