Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss and is common in both men and women. Alopecia usually, and most noticeably, affects the scalp but can affect any part of the body where hair grows. Alopecia has many different causes and depending on the cause, different treatment will be recommended.
Normally hairs grow out of hair follicles in a cycle – the amount of time the hair stays in the ‘active’ part of the cycle determines the length of hair growth. As part of this cycle, it is normal to lose up to 100 scalp hairs per day as new hairs push the old hairs out of the follicle. If higher numbers of hairs are lost than replaced, hair thinning or loss is seen.
Types of hair loss include non-scarring alopecia, where the hair follicles are intact with the potential for hair to re-grow and scarring alopecia, where the hair follicles are destroyed so that hairs cannot grow back.
Common forms of hairloss
Alopecia Areata – this is when sudden hair loss occurs in smooth, round patches about the size of a coin or larger. It can result in complete scalp hair loss and loss of some or all body hair
Androgenic Alopecia – is more commonly called ‘male pattern baldness’ or ‘female pattern baldness’
Telogen effluvium- this condition is often short-term and presents with diffuse scalp hair thinning. It may be associated with pregnancy, a serious illness with a high fever, abnormal thyroid function or low iron levels
Treatment options for hairloss
Different treatment options are offered, depending on the different type of hair loss involved. Some therapies slow the rate of the hair loss whilst others are able to trigger regrowth. The Skin Centre can guide you through the various processes necessary to manage your variation of the condition.