Losing Hair? You May Have Pattern Alopecia
Nobody likes hair loss, but it is often an occurrence that we cannot avoid. Yet, with so many possible reasons for hair loss, how can we tell when something is really wrong and whether or not it can be treated? For now, we will focus on pattern alopecia, a common hair loss condition. You can compare these symptoms with your own to see if pattern alopecia is the cause of your hair loss.
What is pattern alopecia?
Let’s make one thing clear. Even though the term sounds quite scary, “alopecia” is simply the medical name for hair loss. So, then, what is pattern hair loss? Often described as Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Baldness, pattern hair loss (aka pattern alopecia) is the loss of hair typically on top of the head and toward the scalp.
It’s also important to note that there is a difference between male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness in the way that hair loss is seen and other symptoms.
What are the symptoms of pattern alopecia?
For men, hair loss often begins around the temples and top of the scalp. Over time, hair loss will continue until the sides and back of the scalp are visible. Thankfully, there is no other symptom of male pattern alopecia besides the hair loss itself.
Female pattern alopecia is a bit different. Instead of experiencing general hair loss, women often experience hair thinning. Of course, if left untreated, the hair thinning will eventually evolve into true hair loss and baldness.
What causes pattern alopecia?
It’s long since been a belief that male pattern hair loss is the result of genetics. However, hair loss can also be a result of hormonal changes, especially in pregnant women whose bodies are constantly undergoing changes in hormones.
Certain medical conditions can cause hair loss as well. This can include autoimmune disorders like alopecia areata, or various infections that negatively affect the scalp underneath the hair.
Even medications can cause both men and women to experience pattern hair loss. These medications are usually associated with cancer, heart conditions, and possibly even medicines prescribed for clinical depression.
Can pattern alopecia be treated?
Luckily, hair loss can be treated in a number of ways. The most popular (and highly publicized) treatment option is the use of minoxidil, better known as Rogaine.
Depending on the severity of your hair loss and the cause, your physician may prescribe prescription drugs. For men, Propecia is a brand name prescription drug that is said to slow the progression of hair loss, which could allow them the opportunity to grow new hair. Women may be given oral contraceptives to help control the hormones that may be causing the hair loss.
If you want a more drastic option, hair transplant surgery may be the way to go. In this procedure, your dermatologist will carefully remove patches of your scalp from the back or sides of your scalp in order to extract hair from them. The hair is then implanted one by one into the bald spots.
Laser therapy is another in-office procedure; the procedure’s result is the work of low-level laser beams that increase the density of your hair follicles to prevent further hair loss.
If you want more information, or are considering treatment options and live in Cincinnati, Ohio or a surrounding city, our experts at The Dermatology Group are ready to give you all of the advice, resources, and options you need. Give us a call today!