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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Baldness

Baldness

Baldness is a state where hairs are lacking, condition generally involves the head. The most common type of baldness is called androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness sufferers are adult males.

 

The area and patterns of baldness ranges from male and female pattern alopecia, alopecia areata involving the loss of few hairs from particular part of head, Alopecia totalis (All head hairs are lost), to the most severe form known as alopecia universalis which results in the loss of all hairs including head and the body. Some adult males will start balding after the age of 30 years while some others will start balding after the age of 60 years. Receding of hair from the lateral parts of the forehead is a characteristic of male pattern baldness or receding baldness. In some males a patch of baldness may develop at the vertex of the head under the hormonal influence. Male pattern baldness was previously thought to be due to the genetic factors.

Types of baldness

  • Traction alopecia due to pulling of the hair with excessive force
  • Trichotillomania is a mental disease which leads to the loss of hair caused by compulsive pulling and bending of the hairs. Hairs may appear broken in this case leaving short hairs known as exclamation mark hairs.
  • Telogen effluvium is the term given to hair loss due to traumas like chemotherapy, childbirth, major surgery, poisoning, and severe stress.
  • After childbirth too much hair loss can occur without causing actual baldness because hairs are dense during pregnancy due to increased levels of estrogens which comes down after birth of child. Some women taking clomiphene may experience the same situation.
  • Iron deficiency is a common cause of decreased density of hair.
  • Radiotherapy to the scalp for the treatment of certain cancers, can lead baldness of the irradiated areas.
  • Some fungal infections can lead to hair loss.
  • Alopecia areata is a type of baldness in which various bald patches will form over the head. Disease has autoimmune pathology.
  • Localized hair loss may occur in Cicatricial alopecia which is secondary to many conditions. Cancers involving skin can also cause localized baldness like sebaceous nevus, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Hypothyroidism can lead to frontal hair loss.
  • Hyperthyroidism can lead to parietal hair loss.
  • Sebaceous cysts can cause temporary loss of hair.

Treatment

Many drugs and treatment modalities are available now a days like -

  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil
  • Low level laser therapy
  • Surgery
  • Hair multiplication
  • Ketoconazole
  • Unsaturated fatty acids
  • Regular exercise can help in hair loss as it keeps hormonal levels under control.
  • Stress reduction
  • Immunosuppressant Drugs