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Frequently Asked Questions About Alopecia

HomeMedical Spa Info & Tips › Frequently Asked Questions About Alopecia

December 15, 2021 | Medical Spa Info & Tips
5 minute read


Alopecia, or hair loss, can cause alarm, embarrassment, and frustration for men and women alike. This common problem can occur for a variety of reasons, take many different forms, and, in some cases, indicate an underlying health issue that calls for evaluation and treatment.

If you don’t like how your hairline looks in the mirror, or you worry about those extra loose hairs in your tub or on your comb, you should get acquainted with the facts about alopecia, from why you may have developed it to what you can do to restore the missing hair. Check out these frequently asked questions on alopecia.

How Does Alopecia Differ From Normal Hair Shedding?

Humans normally shed hair all year round, unlike many animals who experience specific shedding seasons. Your follicles (the tiny bulbs in the scalp that produce hair cells) go through a regular, ongoing process of hair creation and hair loss, with various follicles undergoing different stages of this process at any given moment.

Doctors refer to the active growth phase of a hair as anagen. During this phase, a new hair emerges from the follicle, pushing out any old dead hair that may still occupy it. After achieving its maximum length, the hair stops growing during a phase called catagen. In the final phase, telogen, the dead hair falls away.

Alopecia deviates from this normal pattern of hair regeneration. If you have this condition, your hair falls out faster than your scalp (or other areas of your body) can replace it, leaving the skin bald.

Why Do People Experience Alopecia?

People can develop alopecia for many reasons. In the common condition known as androgenic alopecia, imbalances in hormones such as testosterone and estrogen weaken the follicles. The resulting hair loss can take the form of either male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness.

The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can promote a type of alopecia called telogen effluvium. Oddly enough, this problem starts with your scalp retaining more hairs (arrested in their catagen stage) than usual. After pregnancy, the extra hair finally falls out, leaving bald areas until the follicles can grow new hair.

Alopecia areata stems from an autoimmune system problem. In this condition, the immune system attacks and kills hair follicles instead of disease organisms. Other health conditions which can trigger hair loss include malnutrition, thyroid disorders, infections, and cancer treatment methods such as chemotherapy.

Stress that leads to hair loss may include both emotional stress that affects hormone levels and direct physical stress on the hair follicles. The latter problem can occur due to hairstyles or restraints that tug on the follicles.

What Patterns Can Abnormal Hair Loss Take?

The pattern of hair loss you notice will depend in part on the type of alopecia you struggle with. Androgenic alopecia can also produce different effects for men as opposed to women. A man’s hairline will recede upward, while the central part in a woman’s hair will grow progressively wider.

Alopecia areata can create round, isolated patches of hair loss. (A fungal infection called ringworm may also produce this symptom, along with scaly or oozing skin.)
Physical stress on one section of hair may cause hair loss only in that area. Chemotherapy drugs can cause total, whole-body hair loss.

What Can You Do About Your Alopecia?

Some cases of alopecia, such as postnatal telogen effluvium, can resolve themselves over time as the normal hair growth process resumes and the new hair grows out to the desired length. Patients who undergo chemotherapy usually regain their hair following treatment, although the color or texture may change.

If an underlying medical condition has led to your alopecia, you may see improvement once you receive the proper care for the condition, from nutritional supplementation to ringworm medication. Hormone therapy may help you reverse or reduce androgenic alopecia issues.

Stubborn cases of hair loss may respond to hair restoration or hair transplantation techniques. Hair restoration involves non-surgical, minimally invasive treatments such as topical or oral medications that stimulate new hair growth. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injected into the treatment site can also prove effective in some cases.

If you can’t get the desired results from hair restoration, you can investigate hair transplantation. In this approach, the surgeon removes a piece of scalp tissue that still contains active hair follicles from a less-visible part of the head. The surgeon then grafts this tissue into the area in need of new hair.

Hair transplantation comes with its own variations for different hair replacement needs. A standard strip graft can replace up to 40 hairs at a time, while less invasive punch grafts contain just ten to 15 hairs and micro grafts replace just one or two hairs each.

If you seek answers to your hair loss dilemma, turn to Capitis Medical & Aesthetics. Our skilled experts can evaluate your alopecia, recommend specific treatments that are most likely to bring positive results, and advise you on healthy home hair maintenance practices. Request a free consultation today.

Please contact Capitis Medical & Aesthetics today if you have any questions about our hair loss treatment or aesthetic procedures.

San Diego, CA

(619) 510-6018

San Diego, CA

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Roseville, CA

(916) 701-6685

Roseville, CA

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Roseville, CA 95678

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