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Suffering from Alopecia? Know about its Types and Causes

Alopecia or hair loss is more commonly known as “baldness.” It may be confined to hair loss with or without scarring, reversible or permanent, and can be limited to scalp or universal. Alopecia can be inflammatory in nature and scaling may be sited in the affected area. A person may feel a tingling sensation where there has been hair loss. Uneven hair loss may also happen in a short span of time, and is usually noticeable on one side. Bald patches may affect even the healthy hair around them, causing hair to lose their grip from the follicles, allowing them to be pulled out effortlessly. So, now that you are sure you are suffering from alopecia, it is important to know which type you have.

1 Types of alopecia and their causes

Androgenic alopecia (male and female pattern)

Male pattern baldness is the most common type and usually starts at an early stage. It generally follows a pattern and attacks the front hairline first, moving to the vertex. This pattern is genetically determined and usually creates a horseshoes-shaped hairline. It is the same in female pattern baldness, but the area is diffused.

Androgenic alopecia (male and female pattern)
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Alopecia areata

In this condition, patches are diffused all over the scalp and may cover areas like the face and skin. They usually appear in the size of a small coin. In most of the cases, hair comes back. This is caused by a problem with the immune system attacking and damaging the hair follicles. The condition is impermanent, and is more common among people suffering from thyroid and diabetes.

Alopecia areata
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Telogen effluvium

A type of alopecia that spreads out immediately after some triggering events such as childbirth, stress, and hormonal fluctuations. Hair loss occurs 3 months after the event and cover up to 50% of the scalp. This can be resolved when the triggering factor is settled.

Telogen effluvium
Image Source: www.camberwellskin.com.au

Anagen effluvium

Hair loss occurs due to intake or contact with toxins, which rapidly affects 90-95% of hair loss. Chemotherapeutic agents, local radiograph, and poisons such as borax, gold, and bismuth are the main causes of it.

Anagen effluvium
Image Source: www.medclub.ru

Cicatricial Alopecia (scarring Alopecia)

In this case, hair loss occurs with inflammation, leaving permanent damage with scar formation. In addition, the hair follicles are not visible on that area. Among the causes are physical trauma like burns and radiodermatitis, infections, and cicatricial pemphigoid.

Cicatricial Alopecia
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2 Treatment for Alopecia. Look what dermatologists say

Alopecia cannot be cured; however, it can be treated. Let’s find out how.

Hair loss is diagnosed in 3 ways:

Dermatologists may inspect hair, collect samples of hair to test under the microscope, or perform skin biopsy by removing a small piece of skin for evaluation.

Treatments:

Corticosteroids
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Corticosteroids

This may be given by directly injecting on the affected area or by topically applying in cream form. Corticosteroid pills are less likely recommended. This is the first treatment tried for alopecia, and is injected every 3 to 6 weeks. Regrowth of hair starts 4 weeks after the last shot.

Anthralin

This is a short contact therapy; a tar-like substance is applied on the skin and left for 50 to 60 minutes before rinsing it off. This treatment alters immune functioning.

DPCP (diphencyprone)

A tricky way to confuse the immune system, this medicine is applied to bald skin and causes allergic reaction. During the reaction, the patient experiences redness, swelling, and itching. This allergic reaction tricks the immune system, helping it to send WBC to the surface of skin and preventing hair follicles from being inactive which causes hair fall. It takes 3 months for hair to regrow.

3 Natural treatments for alopecia

Natural and organic ways are the best, toxic-free ways to treat a condition like alopecia.

Onions: Onion paste helps regenerate hair growth and gives lustrous hair. Applying the paste regularly helps fill the empty areas.

Hibiscus: Hibiscus leaves and flowers help in repairing damaged hair and also aid in blood circulation. In addition, they help exfoliate the follicles.

Natural treatments for alopecia
Natural treatments for alopecia

Lavender oil: Application of lavender oil with base oils like coconut, almond, etc., helps in the regenerating dead cells of the scalp.

Pomegranate peels: Wash hair with the water used in boiling pomegranate peel; this helps in curing alopecia. You can also make a paste of the peel and apply it on the scalp.

Cucumber, lemon, banana with lemon, and crushed mustard seeds also help in curing alopecia naturally.

4 Do you want to cover the alopecia-affected areas? See how

One can cover up the alopecia-affected area in several ways. Hair plays a crucial role in one’s appearance; the checklist below will help you still look beautiful and glamorous by covering the areas where hair is absent.

Hairpieces: You can affix hairpieces of the same color and texture, temporarily or permanently, to hide alopecia. Hairpieces are commercially available; you can try different colors and styles too.

Surgery or laser treatment: A surgical process where hair is taken from other parts and is transplanted in the affected area.

Surgery or laser treatment
Surgery or laser treatment

Wigs: An easy and body-friendly way; it causes no harm to health. You can choose whichever you prefer and instantly look beautiful with it. Wigs can be synthetic, or they can be human hair wigs.

In life, there are many things which may be irreversible. Never ever cry for what you have lost. Be brave and amend the loss the best way possible. If your looks really matter to you, you will find a way.

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