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Hair loss, physical or mental stress

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Updated: Sunday, Sep 13,2009, 8:33:35 PM
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Hair loss or alopecia, is total or partial baldness caused by hormonal changes or physical or mental stress.



Often, conditions affecting the skin of the scalp resulting in hair loss. The first clue to the specific cause is the cause of hair loss, whether it be complete baldness (alopecia capitis totalis), patchy bald spots, thinning or hair loss is limited in some areas. Another factor is the condition of the hair and scalp below. Sometimes only the hair is affected, sometimes the skin is visibly diseased as well.

Hair loss occurs for many reasons - to pull out of the killing by cancer chemotherapy. Some causes, such as hormonal changes, are considered natural, while others sign of serious health problems. Some conditions are confined to the scalp, while others reflect the disease process in the body.

Fungal infections of the scalp usually cause patchy hair loss. The fungus, similar to those that cause athlete's foot and ringworm, often glows under ultraviolet light.


Systemic diseases often affect hair growth either selectively or by altering the skin of the scalp. One example is the thyroid disease. Hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) causes the hair to become thin and fine. Hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) thickens the hair and skin. Several autoimmune diseases also affect the skin and possibly hair, notably lupus erythematosus.

Complete hair loss is a common result of cancer chemotherapy, due to the toxicity of drugs used. Place a tourniquet around the skull just above the ears during the intravenous infusion of drugs may reduce or eliminate hair loss by preventing drugs from reaching the scalp. However, this technique may not be recommended in the treatment of certain types of cancer. An experimental topical gel which may prevent chemotherapy hair loss related, known as GW 8510, has been in clinical trials from April 2000.


Dermatologists are skilled in diagnosis by sight alone. For more obscure diseases, in May, they must use a skin biopsy, removing a bit of skin using a local anesthetic so that it can be examined under a microscope. Systemic diseases requires a comprehensive evaluation by a physician, including specific tests to identify and characterize the problem.

Hair loss may also be caused by trichotillomania, a mental disorder or compulsion that causes a person to withdraw his own hair. In some individuals, physical or mental stress can cause severe hair loss, including major surgery or illness, major life changes (divorce, death of a loved one), and drastic dietary changes. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium, and is the second most common type of hair loss.



Vitamins B6 and biotin are thought to support the growth of healthy hair, as are the minerals zinc, copper and silica. Fifty milligrams of silica a day is thought to stimulate hair growth in young men with alopecia. The herb horsetail (Equisetum arvense) contains silica, and can be taken as an infusion or tea. Copper and zinc have been shown to inhibit the growth of the enzyme that causes DHT production. Iron supplements may be helpful in people whose hair loss is caused by anemia or an inadequate intake of dietary iron.

The remedies herbal Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and Pygeum (Pygeum africanum) may be prescribed by an herbalist, naturopath, or holistic healthcare professional to stop or slow hair loss. Saw palmetto is thought to stop DHT production, and Pygeum influence the production of testosterone. Both can be taken by mouth as a dietary supplement. The Chinese herb He Shou Wun (Polygonum multiflorum) can be taken orally or applied as a topical formula.

For hair loss caused by trichotillomania (hair pulling), behavioral therapy mai a treatment program useful. If the hair pulling or hair loss itself is triggered by stress, there are a number of therapies to reduce stress that can promote relaxation, including aromatherapy, muscle relaxation exercises, yoga, guided imagery and biofeedback.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a special understanding of baldness that is different from the allopathic perspective. TCM recommends foods to eat and others to avoid herbs to treat hair loss, hair, and a special massage. A Chinese approach is to first understand where it is low energy in the body and strengthen the Qi (Chi) of these organs. The treatment is not an approach shot, but a well rounded response.


Successful treatment of underlying causes is more likely to restore hair growth, whether the completion of chemotherapy, effective treatment of a scalp fungus, or control of disease systemic. Drugs such as minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) promote hair growth in a significant minority of patients, especially those in male pattern baldness and alopecia areata. When used continuously for long periods of time, minoxidil produces satisfactory results in about one fourth of patients with androgenic alopecia and as many as half of patients with alopecia areata. Both drugs have so far proved to be quite safe when used for this purpose. Side effects of Rogaine are some dryness and irritation of the scalp. Side effects of Propecia include rare cases of decreased libido and impotence. Propecia is not approved for women because it can cause birth defects.
In recent decades there has emerged a multitude of hair replacement methods performed by physicians and nonphysicians. They range from simply weaving someone else in the hair with the remains of an individual hair transplantation surgery thousands of hair follicles one by one.

The prognosis for people with hair loss varies with the cause. It is generally much easier to lose hair than to regrow. Even when he returns, he is often thin and less interesting than the original culture.

Tags: Hair-loss

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