All About Alopecia

Did you know hair grows everywhere on your skin but your palms? You have about 100,000-150,000 hairs on your head and lose up to 100 of those per day. So finding a few stray hairs on your brush or pillow is not necessarily cause for concern. However, if you’re experiencing sudden hair loss or more hair loss than usual, it could be indication of a medical condition that requires a visit to Dr. Baker.

Alopecia is a general name for hair loss. Sometimes it is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your hair follicles. This attack causes your hair to fall out. Some people lose a lot of hair while others lose hair in just a few spots. There are different types of alopecia:

  • Alopecia areata refers to patchy hair loss on the scalp
  • Alopecia totalis refers to loss of hair on the entire scalp
  • Alopecia universalis refers to loss of hair on the entire body, including eyebrows

Identifying which type you’re suffering from will be Dr. Baker’s first step in determining treatment options. Although there is no cure for any of these forms of alopecia, there are medicines that can help re-grow hair. Corticosteroids, which suppress the immune system, can be administered through injections or as a topical application. There are other medicines that can be prescribed and sometimes a combination of treatments works best.

Hair loss can also be hormonal or genetic.  In these cases it is called, androgenic Alopecia.  This can affect both men and women (usually close to menopause). It can be treated with topical medications like minoxidil, or oral medications like finasteride or spironolactone.  Dr. Baker can help you decide which medication may be best for you.

Sudden hair loss is sometimes the result of Telogen effuvium.  This condition is often seen 2-3 months after a stressful event to the body.  Stress to the body can be emotional (work change, death in family, etc.) or physical (flu, diet change, recent surgery).  Dr. Baker can help you determine the cause, and possible treatments to provide your body the best chance at a full recovery.

We know that hair loss can be embarrassing and even affect your mental well-being causing anxiety and/or depression, but Dr. Baker can help. Call today for an appointment!