The experience of observing clumps of hair falling before our eyes is the worst nightmare that no one wants!! "This is what alopecia does."
What is alopecia ?
Alopecia, commonly referred to as hair loss, is a medical condition characterized by the partial or complete loss of hair from regions of the body where it typically grows. The condition can manifest in various forms, and its exact cause remains multifactorial and complex. Symptoms may vary significantly, depending on the underlying cause, ranging from small bald patches to the complete loss of all body hair.
What Causes Alopecia?
Hair loss can result from various causes, and understanding these factors is essential for appropriate diagnosis and management. Some of the common causes of hair loss include:
1. Heredity: Both men and women may experience hair thinning and loss as they age. This type of hair loss, known as pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia, is linked to genetics and changes in the hormone testosterone. It affects more men than women, with about 80% of men displaying signs of male pattern baldness by age 70.
2. Physical or Emotional Stress: Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss triggered by significant physical or emotional stress. This condition may cause a large proportion of scalp hair to shed, often noticeable when shampooing, combing, or running hands through the hair. The shedding usually decreases over 6 to 8 months. Stressful events such as high fever, severe infection, childbirth, major surgery, and emotional trauma can contribute to telogen effluvium.
3. Nutritional Deficiencies and Health Conditions: Anemia, thyroid diseases, and autoimmune conditions can lead to hair loss. Additionally, crash diets lacking sufficient protein and certain medications, may contribute to hair loss.
4. Alopecia Areata: This autoimmune condition results in bald patches on the scalp, beard, and eyebrows, and may also cause eyelashes to fall out.
5. Scalp Microbiota: Imbalances in the scalp microbiome, such as an overgrowth of certain bacteria or an altered microbial composition, could potentially trigger or exacerbate inflammation in the scalp, contributing to hair loss
6. Trauma and Burns: Burns, radiation therapy, and physical trauma to the scalp can cause hair loss in the affected areas.
7. Tension on Hair Follicles: Certain hair styling practices that exert excessive tension on hair follicles, like tight hairstyles or hair weaves, can lead to a condition known as traction alopecia.
8. Nervous Habits: Nervous habits, such as continual hair pulling (trichotillomania) or scalp rubbing, can result in hair loss.
9. Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones, such as those occurring during menopause or after childbirth, can contribute to hair thinning.
10. Tumors: Rarely, tumors of the ovary or adrenal glands can cause hair loss due to hormonal imbalances.
Understanding the potential causes of hair loss is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment and management strategies. If you are experiencing hair loss, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional or a dermatologist to identify the underlying cause and develop a personalized plan for addressing the issue
What could be the cure?
1. Topical Medications: Adenosine, Procapil, Anagain, Minoxidil, Anthralin, are some of the topical medications that are commonly used to promote hair growth in people with androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness).
2. Oral Medications: Finasteride is an oral prescription medication that can be effective for treating male pattern baldness. It works by inhibiting the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is associated with hair loss.
3. Corticosteroid Injections: Injections of corticosteroids can help suppress the immune response that is causing hair loss in certain types of alopecia, such as alopecia areata.
4. For Scalp Microbiota: Defenscalp, Peptizinc can serve as antimicrobial ingredients which can eliminate microbes from the scalp and helps in preventing alopecia. Maintaining a balanced scalp microbiota is crucial for overall scalp health and may play a role in reducing hair loss.
5. Hair Transplant Surgery: In cases of permanent hair loss, hair transplant surgery can be an option. During this procedure, hair follicles from areas of the scalp with active hair growth are transplanted to the areas with hair loss.
6. Protective Measures: Wear sunscreen if exposed to the sun and use headwear such as hats, wigs, and scarves to protect the head from the sun or keep it warm.
7. Studies going on Quercetin for Alopecia Areata: It is a naturally occurring bioflavonoid found in fruits and vegetables and has Potential benefits: Guards against the development of alopecia areata, demonstrates effectiveness in treating existing hair loss.
Alopecia, though not causing physical illness or being contagious, can inflict emotional pain. The struggle to adapt emotionally is daunting for many, making it a traumatic experience. Treatment becomes crucial, tending to the profound emotional toll and the loss of hair, offering support and solace in the face of this heartrending condition.
International Alopecia Day aims to foster compassion, acceptance, and understanding for those impacted by this condition. It encourages individuals to come together to support each other, break down stigmas, and dispel myths surrounding alopecia. As we recognize International Alopecia Day this August and beyond, let us stand in solidarity with individuals living with alopecia and work towards a future where everyone affected by this condition can lead fulfilling lives, free from discrimination and misunderstanding. Together, we can create a more compassionate and inclusive world for all.
"Beauty has no mold. Bald is Beautiful"