Hair loss is a common occurrence in both men and women. In the vast majority of cases, hair loss is simply a byproduct of the normal aging process. In some individuals, however, hair loss may be the symptom of a more serious disorder, especially when hair loss is sudden and dramatic. If you are currently experiencing hair loss you may be curious about what is causing it. A dermatologist, who specializes in hair, skin, and nail care, can help you accurately determine what lies behind your own hair loss. In this article we will take a brief look at some of the most common causes of hair loss in both men and women.
By far the most common cause of hair loss comes down to your family’s history. Genetics play a huge role in whether or not you will suffer from hair loss and at what age. Hereditary hair loss is referred to as male-pattern baldness in men and female-pattern baldness in women. Male-pattern baldness usually consists of a distinct receding hairline at the front and/or a bald spot on the top of the head. In women, meanwhile, female-pattern baldness usually takes the form of hair thinning. Hereditary hair loss tends to be more common in men than in women.
Changes in hormone levels
Changes in the body’s hormone levels, however, tend to more commonly lead to baldness in women, especially with the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, menopause, childbirth and puberty. Thyroid problems can also lead to sudden hormonal changes, which in turn can cause hair loss. Some medications may also affect your hormone levels and thus cause baldness.
Medical problems and diet
There are some medical conditions which can also cause you to lose your hair. Skin disorders and scalp infections, for example, can lead to baldness, such as in cases of ringworm, lichen planus, sarcoidosis, and some forms of lupus. Infections and medical problems of these kinds often lead to patchy areas of the skin suffering from hair loss. Hair loss caused by medical conditions may be permanent or reversible depending on the specific condition. Additionally, diet can also lead to hair loss, especially in restrictive diets that leave you with little protein intake. Finally, an excessive amount of vitamin A is also a cause of hair loss in some people.
There are a few other major causes of hair loss to also consider. Chemotherapy, for example, often results in loss of hair, although this usually grows back after about a year. Some hairstyling treatments can also damage your scalp, such as hot oil or if you style your hair into tight patterns. Traumatic life events, like a divorce, job loss, or death in the family, may also cause hair thinning for a few months after the initial event. The good news is that hair loss caused by major life events of this sort is usually only temporary.
If you have been experiencing hair loss recently, come visit us at the Dermatology Center of Indiana. We may be able to help you determine the cause of your hair loss and work out an effective treatment program for you.