Dermatology for hair loss
Dermatologists have long known that certain skin diseases or conditions can lead to hair loss. Conditions such as alopecia areata, lichen planopilaris, and lupus erythematosus all contribute to hair loss. However, it is only recently that they’ve made these associations with several common skin conditions.
It’s important to understand that skin diseases can cause hair loss but it is not always permanent. The losing hair may be related to the severity of the skin disease, progression of the disease, or treatment used for the condition.
In this article, we will discuss hair loss and how dermatologists can help in the treatment of this condition.
What is hair loss?
Hair loss in women
Hair loss is the diffuse thinning of hair over the entire scalp. Hair loss is generally classified into two broad categories; non-scarring or scarring.
Scarring alopecia includes conditions such as lichen planopilaris, lupus erythematosus, folliculitis decalvans, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, pseudopelade of Brocq, frontal fibrosing alopecia, and dissecting cellulitis. This type of hair loss is permanent.
Non-scarring alopecia includes hair disorders such as alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, chronic telogen effluvium, trichotillomania, traction alopecia, and hair loss due to infections (tinea capitis) or physical damage (from tight braiding or chemical relaxers). This type of hair loss is usually temporary.
The most common cause of hair loss in women is hereditary thinning; this accounts for approximately 35% of all cases. Menopausal women may experience diffuse thinning that may be caused by decreases in estrogen levels. Other causes can include:
- Thyroid disorders cause hair loss in women as well as men.
- Excessive styling and hair breakage
- Medical conditions
- Underlying medical conditions
- Vitamin deficiencies
Hair loss in men
Hair loss in men is also known as androgenetic alopecia or pattern baldness. Hereditary hair loss is a common condition, occurring in about 50% of men by age 50 years.
Hair loss in men is caused by the progressive miniaturization of scalp hair follicles resulting in shorter and thinner hairs. Eventually, the hairs become fine, wispy vellus-like hairs that are practically invisible or barely visible to the naked eye.
Hair loss among men is often traced to family history; it tends to run in families because certain hair follicles are sensitive to hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). Every man has these hormones but only those with genetic sensitivity experience hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia typically results in a receding hairline and/or balding on the top/crown of the head. Hair may also be thin at the temples. The degree of hair loss varies for each person but its onset can be identified by changes to the hairline.
The most common cause of hair loss in men is androgenetic alopecia, which follows a typical pattern of receding frontal hairline and/or thinning or balding on top.
Though genetic factors contribute to male pattern baldness, trauma or surgery involving the head can also lead to temporary or permanent patterns of hair loss. When is dermatology involved?
Hair loss may be due to an underlying condition such as an infection (tinea capitis), physical damage (from tight braiding or chemical relaxers), nutritional deficiencies (iron deficiency), thyroid disease, etc.
How can dermatologists help with hair loss?
Medications for hair loss are often in the form of a topical shampoo. Some medications may be used topically and others are taken orally.
Systemic therapy for hair loss includes topical minoxidil, finasteride, spironolactone, cyproterone acetate, dutasteride, or flutamide. These medications are generally given confidentially by dermatologists to their patients who suffer from hair loss since there is limited commercial interest in these products.
The appropriate use of these medications requires clinical judgment and experience with them; they can have significant side effects so it’s important to know when and how to prescribe them. Treatment varies depending on the cause and extent of hair loss and other medical conditions that might be causing or contributing to the hair loss. Dermatologists will recommend appropriate therapy.
Another therapy that is now available for hair loss and is used alongside medications like minoxidil to stimulate the growth of new hair is PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy.
This involves taking your blood, spinning it down to separate the red and white cells from the platelets which contain high levels of growth factors. They can be injected into areas where there has been hair loss. It takes about 4 hours to treat a full scalp and another hour and a half to do the sides and back of the head. Thereafter we need to wait 2 weeks before we go back for another treatment session.
The whole process takes about 5 hours but during this time you can leave and do other things because you are sedated with local anesthesia so it doesn’t hurt. We then need to wait another 2 weeks for the next session.
The side effects are minimal because we are just putting your own growth factors back into your scalp where they are needed after you’ve spun down all the cells away from them. With this method now available, it is possible to stimulate hair follicles which otherwise would not have been possible with only using medications like minoxidil alone.
Kera factor is used in hair loss treatment, it is made from natural hair follicles that are cloned in special farms, it is prepared using advanced technologies, this product has the ability to regenerate your hair and stop your hair loss. Kera factor is an advanced product for hair loss treatment.
Kera factor has been used by many people around the world, and it has proved its efficiency of up to 100%, which means that this product will help you grow back your lost hair. It is recommended that you use the Kera factor continuously for at least 3 months, because of increased blood flow to your scalp, or the increasing number of cells in a new hair follicle.
Kera factor works on the principle of cellular division which enhances hair growth, if we compare a person without hair with a person who has a good level of keratin on his/her head, we can see that new blood vessels have appeared beneath the surface of skin cells.
In some cases keratinocytes can be multiplied in the person’s body, so the result of using the Kera factor is attaining keratinocytes which are vital for hair growth.
There is also laser therapy which can be used to stimulate hair growth. Laser therapy uses high-frequency light waves which are absorbed by the dark pigment in our hair follicles, this process makes the blood vessels in the scalp dilate vasodilatation so more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the area making it healthier with increased cellular activity. This stimulates hair growth by reviving dormant hair follicles.
Lifestyle changes can help
Lifestyle changes can help treat hair loss by boosting your overall health and wellbeing. Inadequate sleep, stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise can upset the body’s normal hormone balance which in turn can cause hair loss.
Make sure you have a healthy balanced diet that is rich in vitamin A, B complex, C, and E vitamins. You should also include foods high in zinc such as nuts, whole grains, and legumes. Water helps flush toxins from the body and makes skin look dewy and fresh so try to drink at least eight glasses every day.
Stress has been found to be a major factor linked with hair loss; it’s important to find ways of dealing with stress because water retention around the face can make hair look thin or finer than usual. Try yoga or meditation or listen to classical music, go for long walks in the fresh air, or try aromatherapy.
Avoid smoking and excess alcohol as both have been found to have a negative effect on the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals which can affect new hair growth.
Corticosteroid injections are used for a very short period, the side effects are swelling and bruising, this treatment is usually used in those people who have severe hair loss that has been caused by an illness or condition such as alopecia.
Corticosteroid injections help treat hair loss by reducing the inflammation in the area, this helps to reduce hair loss in most cases.
Hair replacement surgery
Hair replacement surgery uses hair transplants to fill the balding areas. Hair may be removed from the back or sides of the head and sometimes it is necessary to use body hair (legs, arms, eyebrows). If you are considering this kind of treatment you should look for a qualified surgeon who has plenty of experience in carrying out successful hair transplants.
There are many different surgical techniques available; your surgeon will recommend one that suits your lifestyle and budget. This method can take up to 6 months before any results appear so there is no guarantee that all your new hairs will grow through at once. Surgery is very expensive but it’s a permanent solution.
Dermatology for hair loss is a vast subject and we have just scratched the surface. There are many other treatments that we haven’t mentioned, these include supplements such as Biotin, Minoxidil, and Finasteride.
If you notice any changes in your hair loss condition or have other hair loss concerns and wish to speak to a doctor then make an appointment with your GP who can refer you to a dermatologist.
Remember that there is no magic cure for baldness, the only thing that will help in the end is patience and a good dermatologist.
Do dermatologists treat hair loss?
Yes, dermatologists do treat hair loss, they have years of experience and know what the latest medical advances are that can help you beat baldness.
Can dermatologists stimulate hair growth?
Yes, many dermatologists use high-tech equipment to help stimulate new growth over the balding areas. Dermatologists can use laser light, electronic shock treatment, and steroids injections to help stimulate hair growth.
What type of doctor should I see for hair loss?
If you are experiencing hair loss or any changes in your condition then it’s important to see a board-certified dermatologist who will have the latest knowledge of what is available for hair loss.
Seeing a dermatologist for hair loss will help give you peace of mind and you will then be able to follow many different treatment options which will help your hair to grow. The prices for dermatologist treatments vary quite a lot and it depends on what condition you have and how much the dermatologist feels he/she can improve your condition.
What will a dermatologist do for my hair loss?
A dermatologist will first diagnose your condition and find out the underlying cause for it. They will then be able to tell you what is available to help your hair loss.
Most dermatologists can prescribe medicine for hair loss depending on the type of treatment they think is best for you.
What are doctors for hair loss called?
Doctors for hair loss are called dermatologists. Dermatologists also handle hair problems such as hair thinning and bald spots.
Dermatologists treat hair loss conditions such as alopecia, male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness, and various other types of hair loss.
Some dermatologists will be able to prescribe you medicine for your condition, these can include pills and creams. It just depends on the severity of the case.