Hair loss treatments could help you achieve that picture-perfect lookAuthor: Anthony Delar
For any hair loss treatment to be effective, it is essential to first know the exact cause of hair loss. Some hair shedding in men as well as women is normal. As hairs are shed at the end of their growth cycle and replaced by new ones, some degree of hair loss is normal. However, should you find any kind of abnormal hair loss; you can approach a medical professional for treatment.
Hair loss treatment medicines
Some people may choose to treat their hair loss with medicines while others are not as concerned about their thinning hair lines or even baldness. If a disease is the reason for your hair loss, then treating the disease may stop the hair loss. Or simply treating hair loss with prescription drugs can also reverse hair loss.
Treatment for hair loss does tend to boost self-esteem and one’s overall well-being. While some would willingly trade this with drug-related health inconsistencies, others would tread more carefully and make an informed decision. Some medicines could have harmful side effects but using the medicines under medical guidance can lessen the incidence of side effects.
Inherited hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) treatment aims to avoid hair loss, promote hair growth, and cover bald areas on the scalp. Since all individuals react differently to dissimilar medicines, everyone may not notice positive results or re-grow a full head of hair. The medicines include:
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is an over-the-counter topical solution that is sprayed on and rubbed into the scalp twice a day. Once use of this solution is stopped, you will lose all your re-grown hair in time.
Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription-only medication for men. One 1mg pill must be taken once daily. However, it has not established its efficacy in women and is therefore not approved for use by women. In addition, women who are planning on becoming pregnant in the future should not take or handle crushed or broken tablets, because Finasteride can cause birth defects in a male foetus.
Even though treatment with medicines may slow hair loss and help hair re-growth, you much consider the following before making your decision. These include:
- You may not get as much hair growth as you expected
- Medicines for hair growth might have to be taken over the long term or all re-grown hair will fall out
- Your may have to pay for the medication from you own pocket because you insurance might not cover the medicine; medicines can be expensive
- Long-term use of these medicines may result in side effects that are not yet known; certain health conditions do not allow you to use these medications
- All hair loss treatments have their limitations.
Treatments Available for Hair Loss
There is not much that men or women can do to prevent inherited hair loss. This type of hair loss is a trait that carries itself in the DNA of the person. Nonetheless, not all hair loss is hereditary. There are cases where individuals have experienced hair loss while their parents and close relatives have not. This generally points a finger at other causes like stress, poor nutrition or even pollution. Premature hair loss may be result of drug use, stress, overwork, hair dyes and other chemicals, fungal infections and disease, among others.
Depending on the type of hair loss, treatments will normally differ. However, it is essential that first the cause of hair loss is established so that it becomes easy to embark on the type of treatment. For example, if treatment of a disease, like chemotherapy is the cause of hair loss then medicines may not necessarily have the potential to treat this hair loss. On the other hand, if stress is the cause of hair loss, then treatment may be used to repair damaged hair.
Some conditions produce small areas of hair loss, while others affect large areas of the scalp. Alopecia can affect hair on other parts of the body too – for example, the beard. Common causes of patchy hair loss are:
- Alopecia areata (patches of baldness that usually grow back)
- Alopecia totalis
- Traction alopecia (thinning from tight braids or ponytails)
- Trichotillomania (the habit of twisting or pulling hair out)
- Tinea capitis (fungal infection)
Alopecia areata, a common condition usually starts as a single, quarter-sized circle of perfectly smooth baldness. But normally patches do re-grow in three to six months without treatment. Sometimes, the hair may also grow back in white colour but later change back to its usual colour.
In another variant, when the old patches re-grow hair, they may be replaced by other patches.
An autoimmune condition, alopecia areata is said to occur when the body attacks its own hair follicles. Treatments for alopecia areata include injecting steroids into affected patches to stimulate hair growth. But this is not very practical for large areas of hair loss. Other treatments include oral steroids and ultraviolet light therapy. But the downside of this is that these could be toxic and impractical. In mild cases, patients generally comb over the affected areas. In severe cases, people have taken to wearing hairpieces; another option is shaving the scalp completely; this is a more excepted fashion statement in current times.
Hair loss may begin as Alopecia Areata and progress into Alopecia Totalis.
Alopecia totalis, the most extensive in form of the autoimmune disorder, actually affects the whole scalp and results in total baldness. Stress is thought to trigger this type of hair loss but people leading relatively stress-free lives have also experienced these symptoms.
Methotrexate and corticosteroids have been proposed as treatments.
Traction alopecia is normally caused as a result of tight braids and ponytails that pull hard on scalp hairs, damage dermal papilla and hair follicle and contribute to their falling out. It is therefore best to choose hairstyles that decrease pressure on the hair roots and will also avoid permanent damage.
Traction alopecia is reversible if diagnosed early, but may lead to permanent hair loss if it is undetected for a protracted period. Change in hair styles or medication treatments may reverse traction alopecia. Unfortunately, no medical treatment is available to reverse late-stage traction alopecia.
Trichotillomania refers to the habit of pulling out hairs or twisting them, sometimes unknowingly. In this condition the scalp and the eyelashes are also affected and show patches of broken-off hairs.
Treatment entirely depends on your behaviour change; you have to become aware of your problem and then deal with it
Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp. It mostly affects school-age children. Bald spots normally show broken-off hairs.
Treatment includes oral antibiotics that penetrate the hair roots and cure the infection, after which hair grows back.
Generalized hair loss includes conditions like:
Telogen effluvium normally means rapid shedding of hair after childbirth, fever, or after sudden weight loss. There is no medical treatment to correct this type of hair. In time the body adjusts to the changes and starts to work normally again.
Androgenetic alopecia has no medical cure. Normally the people facing this type of hair loss must stay with this condition or use prescription medication like Propecia for the long-term. Women do not have this option. Both men and women can both go in for hair transplants. But this is an expensive option.
No matter what the cause, hair loss is a difficult matter to confront. Moreover, individuals may not have control over the cause of their hair loss. Besides, multiple factors contributing to hair loss make treating the condition all the more difficult; but it is not impossible. Even in the most extreme cases, treatment solutions can generally be found.About the Author:
MHRA reviewed online clinic HealthExpress in UK for male pattern baldness. Get free hair loss consultation online and benefit of propecia next day delivery.
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