Hair grows everywhere on our body except the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet. The average person loses around 100 hairs a day. Alopecia is the medical term for the loss of hair from the head or body. Hair loss can affect both males and females and is often a cause of great concern for cosmetic and psychological reasons, but it can also be an important sign of systemic disease.
Classification of Alopecia: Alopecia can be classified as focal or diffuse and by the presence or absence of scarring.
What causes hair loss?
There many causes for hair loss, some of which may be temporary. A partial list includes:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Medical conditions
- Psychological stress
- Radiation therapy or chemotherapy medications for the treatment of cancer
- Diet or eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
- Certain prescription drugs
- Hormonal imbalances
- Genetic disorders
- Hairstyles that pull excessively on the hair (like ponytails and braids)
- Fungal infections
What kind of treatment is available for hair loss?
With correct diagnosis, many people with hair loss can be helped. There are several treatment options available for hair loss, depending on the cause. Topical minoxidil (for men and women) and oral finasteride (for men only) have been shown to help in the re-growth of hair or slow hereditary hair loss. Hair loss caused by diseases can be reversed with treatment of the underlying cause.