Alopecia is the medical term for ‘hair loss’.
Androgenetic Alopecia, or male-pattern baldness, is the most common followed by Alopecia Areata which is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the hair follicles.
The features of hair loss depend on the cause. Actual symptoms such as itch and soreness are generally absent unless caused by accompanying inflammatory skin disease.
Hair loss can be due to:
- The decreased growth of the hair
- Increased shedding of the hair
- Conversion of thick terminal hairs to thin vellus hairs
- Congenital or acquired hair shaft abnormalities
- An inflammatory skin disease that damages or destroys the hair bulb.
Treatments focus on stimulating hair regrowth and include:
- Topical lotions and creams
- Cortisone injections
- Irritants to activate the immune system
- Oral corticosteroids tablets
- In serious cases, tablets to dampen the immune system (immune suppressants)
- It may also be possible to camouflage the hair loss until treatment takes effect.
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