Dealing With Hair Loss? Know When To See A Doctor & Treatments
Hair loss has become a common problem in both men and women in today’s hectic lifestyle. It not just affects their physical appearance but takes a toll on their mental health as well.
As per dermatologists, hair fall is quite normal as we lose around 50-100 hairs each day and when the old hairs shed, new hairs grow. But it becomes a problem, when the hairline in males starts receding and the hair partition in females starts widening as these are the signs of hair loss.
So, what are the causes of hair loss and when do you need to visit a dermatologist for treatment, we’ll learn all about it from a Delhi-based dermatologist, Dr. Nirupama Parwanda.
Causes of hair loss:
To deal with the problem of hair loss, it’s important to know the root cause, which could be one among those mentioned below.
1. Androgenetic Alopecia: It is the most common type of hair loss and is also referred to as ‘Male pattern hair loss’ or ‘Female pattern hair loss’. In men, the typical pattern of hair loss is a receding hairline with loss of hair from the top and front of the head. In women, the usual pattern of hair loss is thinning at the crown of the head and widening of the partition.
2. Age: As you age, your hair growth becomes slower and hair starts becoming finer, thinner and lighter in colour.
3. Alopecia Areata: It is also a very common cause of hair loss. In this condition, our body’s immunity starts attacking our hair follicle cells which lead to patchy hair loss.
4. Cancer treatment: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy done during a cancer treatment also contribute to hair loss.
5. Telogen Effluvium: It is a form of temporary hair loss caused after you recover from any disease, stress or illness.
6. Hormonal imbalance: PCOD, PCOS and thyroid caused due to hormonal imbalance also contribute to hair loss.
7. Nutritional deficiencies: A consistent lack of Protein, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A and B12 in your daily food intake can result in hair loss.
8. Traction alopecia: This hair loss is caused by the hair being pulled in the same way for a long time. Tying your hair very tightly can lead to traction alopecia.
When to visit a dermatologist?
If you have tried out everything, be it a change of shampoo, oil, conditioner or following a proper diet, but still the hair loss is not coming into control, then it’s time to see a dermatologist.
A dermatologist usually follows the below steps to find the cause of hair loss and start the treatment accordingly.
Asking questions like since when you are facing hair loss or thinning of hair
Does scalp examination which may also include a hair pull test
Dermascopy may also be done to find out the condition of scalp
General examination to found out if hair loss is happening due to any other condition
Other tests like blood test and scalp biopsy may also be done at times to determine the cause of hair loss
As per Dr Parwanda, many a times hair grows on their own but if they don’t then treatments are required to control the hair loss and boost the growth. These treatments can either be at home treatments or clinic-based treatments.
At Home Treatments
1. Minoxidil: Applying minoxidil on the scalp is the most common treatment to stimulate your hair growth. If you witness hair growth after starting this treatment then you should continue it; if you stop, the chances of hair loss increases.
2. Microneedling: Microneedling with a dermaroller involves rolling the device on areas with visible reduction in hair count. This device comes in different sizes varying from 0.25 mm to 1.5 mm. If the needle size is 0.25mm - 0.5mm then it is shallow needle size and it doesn’t penetrate deeply but it gives great results if you apply a topical solution in your scalp. Dermaroller in this size range is best if you are using it at home. If the size is more, it will penetrate deep and increase the chances of infection on the scalp.
3. Laser for at-home use: We can also use lasers at home in the form of laser caps or laser combs. But still it is not much recommended as more research needs to be done regarding the side effects that can be caused due to its long-term usage.
4. Hair Serums: Hair serums which contain active ingredients like procapil, anagain and redensyl are also prescribed to patients.
Clinic based Treatments
1. Anti-Inflammatory injections: These are especially given to those patients who are suffering from alopecia areata.
2. Mesotherapy: In this therapy, a cocktail of Meso solutions is injected into the scalp.
3. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): In this treatment, firstly the blood of patients is taken and then it is centrifuged to remove red blood cells. After this, the platelet rich plasma is extracted from it and injected into the scalp.
4. Low level laser therapy: It is mostly recommended to those patients who are suffering due to hereditary hair loss or alopecia areata. It promotes healing and stimulates hair growth.
5. Hair transplantation: It is also a very common treatment modality in which hair is taken from the back of the scalp and then implanted in the area where hair loss has occurred.
Besides treatments, there are several little things that Dr. Parwanda recommends to people to reduce their hair loss. These include:
Using a gentle shampoo, conditioner and always trying to air dry your hair
Avoid curling rod and flat iron as heat may weaken your hair
Use blow dryer at lowest heat settings
If your hairs are long do not tie them too tightly and keep changing your hairstyle
Gently comb or brush your hair
Take a healthy diet which is rich in proteins, biotin, and fatty acids
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