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    Hair Loss
    Susan Evans, MD posted:
    Dear Readers,

    Hair loss is experienced for a variety of reasons. Most people don't even notice it when it first begins to happen. We all experience a few hairs in our brush, or in the sink as we comb or brush our hair. However, when we begin to notice a lot of hair coming out, or when our hair is noticeably thinner, we sit up and take notice.

    The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. There are several forms of permanent hair loss:

    ? Male-pattern baldness. This is a genetic predisposition, and can begin in men in their early teens. It generally presents as a receding hairline at your temples and visible thinning of the hair at the top of your head.
    ? Female-pattern baldness. Most women who experience this form of hair loss will experience thinning at the top of their hear, near the front, and on the sides. Complete baldness in women is rare, but not unheard of.
    ? Cicatricial alopecia is due to scarring resulting from inflammation that damages and scars hair follicles of the scalp. This can result in patchy bald spots. One disease that causes this is lupus.

    There are also other forms of alopecia that are temporary:
    ? Alopecia areata — a disease that presents as small round areas of hair loss about the size of a quarter. This can occur on the scalp, in the beard area, even eyebrows and eyelashes. This is considered to be an auto-immune disease, but the cause is unknown. Usually your hair will grow back, but you may experience this several times throughout your lifetime.
    ? Stress-induced hair loss that occurs after a significant illness or major life stressor. This will usually result in overall thinning of the hair and no real bald patches.
    ? Traction alopecia occurs when certain hairstyles are regularly worn that put excessive strain on their hair strands causing breakage.
    ? Chemotherapy hair loss is due to the drugs given to fight certain cancers or lymphoma. Many people will experience regrowth of their hair after treatment is over, but most will never have hair as thick as prior to their treatment.

    What Causes Hair Loss?
    Hair is susceptible to hormonal changes, irritation, chemicals, and other damage. The hair follicles will experience shorter growth phases and the hair they produce will become thinner and shorter.
    Aging is the most common cause of hair loss. In both male and female-pattern baldness (also called androgenetic alopecia) the growth period each hair follicle is shorter, and the resulting hair is not as thick nor as strong. Heredity will determine whether you will experience any degree of alopecia, and it will also determine the age at which you experience it.

    Certain disease states like ringworm can cause hair loss, as can medications, medical treatments, as well as poor nutrition. People who routinely follow severe fad diets often experience a significant degree of hair loss.

    Hormonal changes are also responsible for hair loss. During pregnancy women will have thicker, stronger hair, but after delivery will see a very significant loss of hair for about three months as their hormones restabilize.

    What Can I Do?
    If you are looking for medical assistance, you can prepare by writing down all the symptoms you notice around your hair loss. Make notes about any major stresses in your life, including work and health issues. Make a complete list of the medications you're taking and have a list of questions you intend to ask during your appointment. There are treatments for some types of baldness, be sure to ask your doctor or your dermatologist what is the best course of treatment for your situation.
    An_207215 responded:
    Im 19 and Im already having hair loss. I went to the doctors and she thinks it my be Alopecia Areata but is not really sure since it doesnt run in my family. I really hope there is not nothing wrong with me. I have two bald patches on the front of my head. My hair is also falling off in large amounts when i brush it. I know its not normal. I had blood work done and everything came back fine. My doctor says its a unknown cause and she cant figure it out. She gave me some treatment (lotion) to but on the spots but it doesnt seem like it will be enough. Loosing my hair is really bring me down.
    Susan Evans, MD replied to An_207215's response:
    Dear Anon 44110,

    I'm very sorry to hear that you're experiencing hair loss at such a young age.

    It's true, some of the causes of alopecia are simply not known. I hope that you continue to get help from your doctor. Should you lose your hair, there are support groups that can help you deal with the loss, and help you incorporate ways of handling your loss in the future.

    Please keep us posted.


    Dr. Evans
    jayjen91 responded:
    can you lose your hair after your stop taking prenatal vitamins?
    Annie_WebMD_Staff replied to An_207215's response:
    Hi Anon_44110,

    I can tell you about my own personal experience with alopecia areata, I've had it happen to me 4 times. Each time it's been in a different part of my head where I would lose hair in a round spot about the size of a quarter.

    Once it happened after I gave birth. The spot was in the back of my head so I didn't even notice it until I got a haircut and my hairdresser told me. By that time the hair was growing back. The next time it happened I think was due to over exercising. The third time was due to a change in jobs -- stress big time! The forth time was also due to stress and work as friends and co-workers lost their jobs as the economy tanked 2 years ago..

    While you are waiting for your hair to grow back I want to sugggest using something like a matte hair powder to disguise any shiny scalp or a product like Toppik which you sprinkle on top of your hair. Another product that I use is Joan Rivers Great Hair Day which is a matte powder.
    I'm starting to have thinning hair on top due to perimenopause/menopause so I use topical OTC minoxidil as well on my scalp.

    Beauty is about feeling good about yourself so I hope this information helps you!
    These are my own opinions only.

    - Annie
    raaav responded:
    I have lots of hair loss on the back of my head. It fell out a year ago and still hasn't grown back. The rest of my hair grows fine at a normal rate. I wear extentions and get relaxers. But why is my hair falling out in one area only and how do i make it grow back?
    Susan Evans, MD replied to raaav's response:
    Dear raaav,

    Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer. I highly recommend that you see your doctor and work closely with your doctor to see if you can discover the reason behind your hair loss.


    Dr. Evans
    pmo821 responded:
    I've been experincing bald patches in my beard for close to a year now. I haven't sought medical attention yet. It seems to be worsening as now there are about 5 patches. There is no discomfort or itching, but it's getting more noticeable. I try to keep a close shave but it seems these patches are turning a lighter shade of pink. Can anyone help?!?
    bobbygailor responded:
    Three weeks ago,for an unknown reason i suddenly developed bald patches on my face. There are about 6 of the ranging in size from a pea to a half dollar. I am a usual goatee wherer and find this to be a big problem. It was a very sudden loss and has not grown at all since. I am starting to worry because i have looked and found nothing on this subject. Thank you.
    Annie_WebMD_Staff replied to bobbygailor's response:
    Hi bobbygailor,

    You may want to use the WebMD search engine to read about alopecia areata . which means patchy hair loss. Do read the earlier posts in this thread for more helpful information about alopecia.

    As Dr Evans has suggested in some of her posts, you may want to see a doctor for help when you are experiencing hair loss.

    Good luck!

    - Annie
    An_207216 responded:
    I have had significant hair loss for about the past 10 yrs. It has gradually gotten worse and worse. It is so bad at the present time that I am losing 200 hairs when I shower....not to mention my pillow and bed that is covered when I wake up in the morning; the sink that gets covered just as I am standing there brushing my teeth, etc, etc. I can't even imagine how many hairs are coming out a day. It is all over shedding, more predominant in the front and temples. It is as if my scalp is stuck in the telogen (?) phase of constant shedding.

    I have been extremely proactive the past 8-10 years. I have seen a variety of dermatologists including a very well known hair loss dermatologist. I was told they were almost 100% sure it was seborrhea dermatitis and that if I took a cocktail of 4 prescription shampoos, oils, and serums that it would take care of the seborrhea and my hair should subsequently grow back. This was over 1 year ago and the prescriptions did not do a thing. I told this doctor at the time I did not feel it was necessarily seborrhea causing this. I also explained that with both of my pregnancies in the past few years, the hair loss went completely away a few months into my pregnancy. Hair loss returned about 3 mo. post pregnancy. To me, it seems it must be a hormonal issue....which seems so simple to find out?!

    I have gone to various endocrinologists and have had every level of everything in my body checked. I am slightly hypothyroid and on low dose meds. This appears to be under control and no one thinks it is related. I have kept good records, read and researched all that I can. I am at a loss and so frustrated. I feel like shaving my head and wearing a wig. Please advise if I am missing out on something I should get checked or any ideas. Thanks much~
    An_207217 responded:
    I'm 22 and I already have hair loss. I've had curly, somewhat thin hair my whole life but I just noticed I have very thin, almost bald, spots on my crown. I'm not sure how long they've been there, but I just noticed them the past several months. Funny thing is I haven't noticed any hair loss lately, if anything I've been losing less hair than I used to. My dad is bald and my mom has thin hair but hers didn't thin until she was pregnant. I started on atenolol for migraines and lo ovral bcp about the same time 4 years ago. Could these be the culprit? I also saw a doctor 2-3 years ago and he said I had psoriasis on the back of my head, but that has since resolved.
    I am going to see a doctor about this, but probably not for 2-3 more weeks b/c my insurance is changing.
    What could be the cause? And is it likely this will be permanent?
    krllou responded:
    I have been on Birth control and SSRI's for several years. My hair is getting thinner and thinner and I am starting to notice my scalp showing. (I'm only 23!). I recently stopped my medications. Will this help? Is there any other way to get my hair to start growing back?! Heeelllp!
    fitnessJane91 responded:
    I am 20 and since losing 50 lbs in 8 months, I am beinning to notice an increase in my usual hair loss through the top and crown of my head. I have drastically changed my diet in terms of what and how much I eat and I am concerned I may have telogen effluivum. The hairs that come out when I wash and brush my hair have a tiny white bulb at the end. I have not yet gone to my doctor because this has only been gong on for about 3 weeks and I do not notice any bald spots or hair loss on other part of my body. However I am beginning to count and collect the hair I lose when I shower to show the doctor if and when I choose to go. Last I brushed my hair I lost 70 hairs. I am try to be very careful now with handling my hair. I do not have a family history of hairloss nor do I take birth control but I have read that drastic weight loss (over 20 lbs) and lack of nutrients can cause hair loss such as TE.
    thomasmite996 responded:
    Hairs are the most important and sensitive part of our body.
    It need more care and look after as compare to other parts of body.
    Mostly people use chemical shampoo for hair wash and also hard towel to dry hairs.
    And hence hair roots are damage and result in hair loss.
    These factors are the main causes of hair loss.
    Use fruits and vegetables to get vitamins and minerals for healthy hair growth...

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