Everyone loses hair; it is normal to lose about 50-100 hairs every day. However, if you experience bald patches or large amounts of thinning, you may be experiencing hair loss that requires a visit to the dermatologist for proper diagnosis and possible treatment. Dr. Holy in Phoenix specializes in treating the skin, nails, and hair. Most hair loss causes can be stopped or treated following proper diagnosis.
The following describes some hair loss causes:
Hair disorders: Hereditary thinning or baldness (also called androgenetic alopecia): This is the most common cause of hair loss. It affects men and women, affecting millions of people in the United States.
Disease: Hair loss can be the first sign of an underlying disease. About 30 diseases, including thyroid disease and anemia, cause hair loss. By treating the disease, hair loss often can be stopped or reversed.
Illness: Significant hair loss can occur after an illness. A major surgery, high fever, severe infection, or even the flu can cause hair loss.
Some Cancer Treatments: Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can cause hair loss. This hair loss is often temporary, but it can cause great distress.
Ringworm of the Scalp: This disease is contagious and common in children. Without effective treatment, ringworm can cause balding.
Having a Baby: After giving birth, some women have noticeable hair loss, caused by falling estrogen levels. The hair loss is temporary and re-growth usually occurs within a few months.
Menopause: Hair loss is common during menopause. This loss is often temporary. Hair re-grows with time. If a woman is 40 years of age or older, she should not expect her hair to have the fullness that it did when she was younger.
Stress: Experiencing a traumatic event can cause hair loss.
Protein: When the body does not get enough protein, it rations the protein it does get. One way the body can ration protein is to shut down hair growth.
Iron: Not getting enough iron can lead to hair loss. Good sources of iron are soybeans, pumpkin seeds, white beans, lentils, spinach, clams, oysters, and organ meats.
Medications: Some prescription medicines can cause hair loss. These include:
- Blood thinners
- Medicines that treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, and high blood pressure
- Birth control pills
- Anabolic steroids
Hair Care: Your hairstyle and even some of the products you use on your hair can cause hair loss. Frequent bleaching or permanents can cause the hair to break. Regular or improper use of dyes, gels, relaxers, and hair sprays also can cause hair breakage. When used to hold hair tightly, hairpins, clips, and rubber bands can break hair.
No matter the cause, hair loss can affect the way both men and women look or think about themselves and can have a huge effect on self-confidence. If you are in Phoenix and are experiencing hair loss, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website to schedule an exam with Dr. Holy.