It is normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs in a single day and a healthy scalp has nearly 100,000 hairs. Hair thinning with age is completely normal, but there are other causes for hair loss that need to be examined. These include: hormonal factors, medication use and medical conditions. Hormonal factors include male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness as well as temporary hair loss due to hormonal changes. Thyroid problems, scalp infections, alopecia areata and other skin disorders can also cause hair loss. Other causes of hair loss include: medications used for high blood pressure, heart problems, depression, arthritis and cancer.
The biggest complications of hair loss are not the hair loss itself, but the underlying cause for it. This medical condition can cause self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety, relationship issues and numerous other social and emotional problems. If there is an underlying cause for the hair loss, it may be a serious issue that must be addressed by a trained physician. When hair loss becomes abnormal, seek medical advice to find an answer.
Hair loss is capable of appearing in a number of different ways and it all depends on the specific problem that is causing it to occur. Hair loss can come on in a gradual manner or can appear all at once and it can affect the entire body, only parts of the body or just the scalp. Some forms of hair loss are temporary while others cannot be reversed and are permanent. It can appear as a gradual thinning of hair on the top of the head, a circular or patchy bald spot, the sudden loss of hair or hair loss across the entire body. What type of hair loss is experienced will give hints to its cause, but further examination may be required to diagnose the specific issue at hand.
A physician will want to administer a complete physical examination, medical history and family history in order to help with the diagnosis. The rate of the hair loss as well as the pattern of the hair loss will help to make a diagnosis. The doctor will also perform laboratory tests and take samples and biopsies in order to figure out what the underlying cause is for the hair loss. Diagnosing the underlying cause behind the hair loss is essential in determining whether or not it can be treated effectively.
Some types of hair loss resolve themselves without any treatment, but other situations require treatment in order to hide the hair loss or promote new hair growth. If the hair loss is caused by an underlying condition, then treating that condition will be necessary. There are several types of medical treatments that are FDA approved to treat hair loss including Minoxidil or Rogaine and Finasteride or Propecia. Hair transplant surgery and scalp reduction surgeries can also be performed for permanent hair loss on the head.