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Cosmetic Dermatology

Hair fall Treament

A woman's hairstyle often expresses her individuality-her sense of fashion, independence, confidence, and overall well being. When we think of our hair, the question is "what style do I choose?"-short hair, long hair, long layers, short layers, color, highlights. What we never want to entertain is the question, "where is it?". While hair loss is rarely desirable in men, it is more socially acceptable. Moderate hair loss in men is commonly perceived by women as "distinguished". However, for women the social standard remains the presence of a full head of hair. Hairstyles for women often change with evolving fashion trends-- but one thing remains constant: abundant hair.

Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL)
To the surprise of many people, a normal, healthy woman loses approximately 100-125 hairs per day. Fortunately, the follicles that produce these hairs remain behind and generate new hairs. Appreciable or noticeable hair loss occurs when the growth cycle of the hair follicle is disrupted or changed. The follicle no longer produces a hair.
The most common treatable form of hair loss seen in women is androgenic alopecia, also known as female pattern hair loss/baldness. This is an inherited or genetic pattern of hair loss that can come from either parent. It presents as hair thinning over both the top and sides of the head. Rarely does it progress to a single bald spot. It affects approximately one-third of all susceptible women. Although it may begin as early as puberty it is most commonly seen after menopause.

Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) differs from male pattern hair loss (MPHL) in the following ways.

arrow    Symptoms of recession at the temples is less likely than in men.
arrow   Women tend to maintain the position of their hairlines.
arrow    The entire top of the scalp is the area of risk.
arrow    In women, there is generally a diffuse thinning
arrow    It is more likely to be noticed later than in men, in the late twenties         through early forties.
arrow    Socially, it is less acceptable.

Non-androgenic alopecia/ hair loss
Two other common types of hair loss, medically known anagen effluvium and telogen effluvium may create a very similar appearance as female pattern hair loss. The primary distinction is that these types of hair loss respond to medical treatments and do not benefit from hair replacement surgery.

Anagen effluvium is generally due to internally administered medications, such as chemotherapeutic agents which poison the growing hair follicle.

Telogen effluvium is due to an increased number of hair follicles entering the resting stage of hair cycle growth. The most common causes of telogen effluvium are:

arrow    Physical stress: surgery, illness, anemia, rapid weight change.
arrow   Emotional stress: mental illness, death of a family member.
arrow   Thyroid abnormalities.
arrow   Medications: High doses of vitamin A -- Blood pressure         medications -- Gout medications.
arrow   Hormonal causes: pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause.

Diet Considerations
Hair loss may also occur due to dieting. Franchised diet programs which are designed or administered under the direction of a physician with prescribed meals, dietary supplements and vitamin ingestion have become popular. Sometimes the client is told the vitamins are a necessary part of the program to prevent hair loss associated with dieting. From a dermatologist's standpoint, however, the vitamins cannot prevent hair loss associated with rapid, significant weight loss. Furthermore, many of these supplements are high in Vitamin A which can magnify hair loss.

Physical And Emotional Stress
Surgeries, severe illnesses and emotional stress can cause hair loss. The body simply shuts down production of hair during periods of stress since it is not necessary for survival and instead devotes its energies toward repairing vital body structures. In many cases there is a three month delay between the actual event and the onset of hair loss. Furthermore, there may be another three month delay prior to the return of noticeable hair regrowth. This then means that the total hair loss and regrowth cycle can last 6 months or possibly longer when induced by physical or emotional stress. There are some health conditions which may go undetected that can contribute to hair loss. These include anemia or low blood count and thyroid abnormalities. Both of these conditions can be detected by a simple, inexpensive blood test.

Hormonal Consideration
Hormonal changes are a common cause of female hair loss. Many women do not realize that hair loss can occur after pregnancy or following discontinuation of birth control pills. It is important to remember that the hair loss may be delayed by three months following the hormonal change and another three months will be required for new growth to be fully achieved.
When the above causes of telogen effluvium are reversed or altered, you should see the return of normal hair growth. Minoxidil, a topical medication, can address some forms of telogen effluvium.

Treatment Options for Female Hair Loss

arrow   Accepting and learning to live with hair loss. Professional counseling may be of help.
arrow   Perms, color and other cosmetic options to give a fuller appearance to hair.
arrow   Medical therapy -- Rogaine (topical minoxidil). Rogaine is the only FDA approved medication currently available for female pattern hair loss.
arrow   Hair Replacement Surgery - Modern surgical techniques have made transplantation for females a viable treatment option providing they are qualified candidates and have realistic expectations.
arrow   Hair Additions -- Modern forms of hair additions have also made recent improvements in simulating a natural appearance. A consultation with a skilled hair restoration specialist to discuss your options is advised.
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