If you’re losing your hair, you may be desperate to stop the endless shedding of strands. Hair loss — also known as alopecia — may occur for a number of reasons, including autoimmune disorders that cause your body to attack your hair follicles. However, hair loss isn’t inevitable, nor is it necessarily irreversible.
The expert dermatologists at Specialists in Dermatology diagnose and treat hair loss at their Houston, Texas, and Woodlands, Texas offices. They encourage you to get an evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations as early as possible to halt or even reverse your hair loss.
Long-term hair loss may be irreversible
Your hair grows in channels on your scalp called follicles. A follicle is where the hair is “born” and housed as it grows. Your hair grows in stages. At the end of the cycle, the hair sheds. However, a new hair is then created in the shaft.
When you lose your hair because of hormonal changes or an autoimmune condition, however, the follicle doesn’t grow another hair. A follicle that isn’t producing and housing hairs regularly eventually dries out and cannot be revived.
Early treatment of hair loss can restore the structural integrity and functionality of the follicle. Healthy follicles can then regrow hairs within a year.
Diagnosing hair loss is the first step
Trying to reverse hair loss on your own could lead you down a false path and cause you to lose time. For instance, vitamins and topical therapies won’t do any good if your hair loss is the result of abnormalities in hair shafts or by an underlying autoimmune condition.
During your hair loss consultation, we take a personal medical history as well as a family history to determine all of the factors involved in your hair loss. We may also take scalp and hair samples. Common causes of hair loss are:
- Alopecia areata (autoimmune disorder)
- Androgenic alopecia (hormonal changes)
- Telogen effluvium (stress-related hair loss)
- Anagen effluvium (medication- or chemotherapy-induced hair loss)
- Tinea capitis (ringworm)
Your dermatologist gets to the root of your hair loss problem before prescribing appropriate treatments or lifestyle adjustments. We may need to test your blood to rule out potential causes for stress- and trauma-related telogen effluvium, which causes your hair to go into a resting state rather than a growth stage.
Early treatment regrows hair
Once your dermatologist diagnoses the reasons for your hair loss, they help you regrow your hair whenever possible. Medical treatments include:
Both women and men with hair loss may benefit from this topical treatment that regrows hair. You must apply it twice a day for life to maintain your new hair growth.
Women with female pattern baldness may benefit from oral spironolactone. Spironolactone blocks the production of excess androgens, such as testosterone, that causes the hair loss.
Men with male pattern baldness. You must take a pill by mouth daily for life. Its effectiveness lessens with age and may not work in men over 60 years. Finasteride is not appropriate for women.
Steroids and immunomodulators
If you have the autoimmune condition called alopecia areata, your immune system erroneously attacks health hair follicles. Steroids and immunomodulators can quiet the attacks and subdue the inflammation that damages hair follicles.
Contact Specialists in Dermatology in Houston, Texas, or The Woodlands, Texas, to find out why you’re suffering from hair loss. Call us, or fill out our convenient online scheduling form so that you can start regrowing your hair with treatment today.