Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Most people think of it as occurring on the scalp, which is the most common site, but it may also occur on the body or face. There are several different kinds of alopecia.
Androgenic alopecia refers to male or female-pattern balding/hair thinning, which is the most common type of hair loss. It typically becomes prominent in men as the reach their 40’s and 50s, and in women after menopause. There are some cases in which patients are affected in their 20’s, 30’s and even earlier. Genetics plays a significant role in this type of alopecia.
Alopecia areata is a sudden loss of round patches of hair. This can be very disturbing because the affected areas are completely bald. It is very common and has a very good prognosis. Most patients only have small areas that are affected that will respond well to treatment. Rarely, patients may have an extensive case, where they lose all of their scalp hair, which is then referred to as alopecia totalis. It is also possible for a person to experience hair loss across the whole body (alopecia universalis).
Other types of alopecia are less common, but still a big problem for patients. ADSC treats hair loss and alopecia in the Atlanta, Georgia area due to a variety of causes, including genetics, underlying medical conditions, compulsive pulling of the hair, certain tight hairstyles, hair relaxer products, and hot hair irons.
Hair Loss Treatment
Fortunately for those who experience hair loss, there are a number of treatments that a dermatologist can suggest. In some instances, as with alopecia areata, hair may begin to re-grow on its own but it can take several years. The following treatments can help to quicken the hair growth process. One or more techniques may be used to ensure success.
Minoxidil is a topical product that can help re-grow hair. It can be used by both women and men. Minoxidil is typically applied twice a day to the scalp and can also be applied to the brows or beard if needed. Signs of re-growth take about 3 months to appear. It can be used in conjunction with other treatments.
This pill is used to treat male pattern baldness. It blocks testosterone from converting to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the scalp. DHT is a hormone that can cause hair loss.
This is a hormonal treatment that may be used in certain women with hair loss. It may be especially helpful in women with post-menopausal hair loss.
For certain types of hair loss, corticosteroids can be injected into the location of the hair loss to suppress inflammation. Shots may be received every 4 to 6 weeks. Hair re-growth typically begins 4 weeks after the last treatment. It can also be applied in topical form such as a solution or lotion. Pills are reserved for patients with extreme cases of alopecia since they can have many side effects.
Most types of alopecia are not caused by a vitamin deficiency, but in some cases, certain oral vitamin supplements may help stimulate hair growth and make the hair stronger.
DPCP is a topical medication applied to the hairless scalp. The small allergic reaction caused by it triggers the immune system to react and sends white blood cells to the surface. This method can take 3 months to work.
To learn more about hair loss and alopecia treatments, contact Aesthetic Specialty Centre Plastic Surgery & Dermatology at our Roswell (770-393-9000) or Greensboro (706-467-6500) location.