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What is alopecia? Causes and Treatments

Alopecia is considered abnormal hair loss, it can affect various areas of the body where hair grows such as the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, beard among others.

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Hair loss is a condition common in the worldbut it affects in its great especially men as they get olderbaldness can be temporary or permanent, and It can be caused by different reasons, both genetic and medical.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person usually you can lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day, and is considered a normal amount.

Hair loss or alopecia occurs when falling hair is not replaced by new hair.

Here are some of the risk factors for baldness according to the specialists at the Clinic:

  • Genetic: too called androgenetic alopeciausually due to family history which had the same state and it happens gradually, affecting various areas of the scalp and thinning hair strands.
  • Hormonal changes and medical conditions: certain hormonal changes can cause temporary or permanent hair loss. For example: during pregnancy, labour, menopause and thyroid problems.
  • Medications and supplements: in some cases hair loss occurs as a side effect of some medications such as those used to treat cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure.

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  • Radiotherapy: this medical treatment can cause hair weakness.
  • Stressful or traumatic events: Some people find that after a difficult event in their life they lose thickness in the hair and also the hair. This type of loss is usually temporary.
  • Hairstyles and care: hairstyles that pull a lot of hair can cause a type of baldness called traction alopecia. Certain chemical hair treatments when they heal can make hair loss permanent.

What are the symptoms of alopecia?

Some of the signs and symptoms of baldness are:

  • Gradual loss on top of head to forehead hairline.
  • Patchy hair loss.
  • Hair fall or hair loss.
  • Hair loss all over the body (usually temporary and caused by treatments such as chemotherapy).
  • Desquamation of the scalp, accompanied by brittle hair, redness and swelling.

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Are there treatments for alopecia?

There are various treatments known to treat alopecia. You must keep in mind that your doctor must determine the type of alopecia you have, the causes and whether or not it is reversible.

Treatments to treat alopecia include:

minoxidil: this medicine is coming different presentations and is freely available. To be most effective, apply the product to the skin of the scalp once a day for women and twice a day for men. Many people prefer mousse that is applied when the hair is wet.

Finasteride (Propecia): it’s a pill it is taken daily and men who use it notice a decrease in hair loss and the growth of new hair. Results may take a few months. Men over 60 may not notice any results.

Hair surgery: In this procedure, the dermatology specialist or cosmetic surgeon will extract hair from a non-bald part of the head and transplant it to a bald area. This procedure is outpatient, a little painful, so a sedative will be needed to reduce the pain.

Laser treatment: The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a laser device as a treatment for hereditary hair loss present in both males and females.

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