or hair loss or balding is a matter of psychological concern for both males
and females. Alopecia may be of scarring and non- scarring type.
Scarring alopecia or cicatricial alopecia can be due to a number of causes; to enlist a few :-
1. Heriditary or developmental.
2. Infection of the hair follicle (bacterial, fungal etc.).
3. Trauma like that of burns, radiation, chemical injury or mechanical injury.
4. Neoplastic (cancer) conditions such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, lymphomas or secondary metastases.
5. Due to inflamation of the underlying dermis in diseases like syphilis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, sarcoidosis, pyoderma gangrenosum, cicatrical pemphigoid and morphea.
Alopecia areata - Bald patches
appear on the scalp, eyebrows, moustache or the beard area. It is an
2. Stress induced alopecia - due to:
· emotional stress
· crash diets
· Malaria, Tuberculosis, Typhoid etc.
· after surgery
· in hepatic or renal failure
· Iron and Zinc deficiency
3. Post pregnancy.
4. In patients with thyroid or pituitary disorder.
5. Patients with collagen vascular disease.
6. Drug induced - Patients on anti-cancer treatment, anti-thyroid drugs, cholesterol lowering agents and patients on anticoagulant therapy suffer from hair loss.
· The hair sample must first be tested.
· The cause if established should be treated.
· If there is any bacterial or fungal infection, it must be treated.
· Dandruff or lice if present, should be treated.
· Alopecia areata can be treated intralesional injections of triamcenalone or hydrocortisone or both. More than one cycle may be required at the interval of 2 - 3 weeks. 'Phenolization', another technique to treat alopecia areata may also be done (see the pictures below).
· Patients with male pattern alopecia or diffused hair loss may apply 'minoxidil' after consulting a dermatologist. 'Finasteride' in low doses is also prescribed by dermatologists in male pattern alopecia.
· Vitamin and Zinc supplements are essential for arresting hair loss and help hair regeneration.
Anemia if present needs prompt treatment with iron supplements.
Patients with male pattern alopecia can undergo hair transplantation. Hair transplantation may be of three types: 1) punch grafting 2) single hair transplant.3)The latest is: Follicle Unit Transplant. The donor for the transplant is the patient himself. Therefore he should have adequate hair in the non-affected area from where the grafts can be taken.
Patients who are medically unfit for surgery, those who do not have adequate donor area or those who have scarring alopecia can go for non-surgical modalities of hair restoration. These may be in form of wigs, hair weaving hair clipping, hair bonding, falls, switches or demiwigs.
1. Use a good shampoo once or twice a week. Choice of shampoo depends on the hair type (normal, dry or oily).
2. A diet rich in proteins, iron and zinc should be consumed.
3. Drink 7 - 8 glasses of water everyday.
4. Psychological stress and anxiety lead to hair loss, so keeping them at bay is very important.
5. Physical trauma to the hair shaft caused due to vigorous combing, excessive shampooing, drying or brushing should be avoided.
6. Beware of trendy styles such hair bleaching and dying, they might cause more harm than good.
7. Avoid hair perming or straightening.
8. Use of rubber bands, buns and braids must be avoided.
has been developed for information only. The treatment methodologies
described are only enumerations and should not be followed as regimens
without valid prescription given by a qualified medical doctor. The treatment
procedures described in the site are not without risk and the author is not
responsible for complication that arise in the course of the treatment done
by other doctors.
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