Alopecia / Hair Loss
Hair Loss Treatment at Vanguard Skin Specialists
There are a number of conditions that can cause hair loss, but the most common is a hereditary condition called pattern hair loss or baldness (most often in men, but women may be affected as well). In the US, approximately 80 million men and women are affected by this condition.
Pattern hair loss occurs gradually and in a predictable manner: men typically experience a receding hairline and bald spots, while women experience thinning hair. Hair loss may start as early as puberty.
Another cause of hair loss is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that attacks hair follicles and most often affects children and young adults. It causes patches of hair to fall out, leaving smooth, round, coin-size bald spots on the skin.
Hormonal changes and scalp infections such as ringworm can also cause temporary hair loss.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, call Vanguard Skin Specialists today at (719) 355-1585 for an appointment with one of our dermatologists in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, or Woodland Park, or request one online. The doctor will evaluate your condition to find the cause and determine whether your hair loss will resolve on its own or needs medical treatment. Learn more about hair loss in the FAQs below.
There are many causes of hair loss, and certain ages, genetics, and hair style practices can contribute. Stress, hormonal changes, autoimmune disorders, and fungal infection are all common causes.
Most causes of hair loss are not contagious. However, “ringworm” of the scalp (tinea capitis) can be, but it is most often seen in children.
Most types of hair loss do not lead to total hair loss. More commonly, conditions wax and wane over a period of time, and some types resolve completely with no long-term hair loss. However, even small amounts of hair loss can lead to a decreased sense of self-esteem and have a profound emotional impact.
While supplements and vitamins are not used to treat hair loss, they can help promote healthy growth. Over-the-counter biotin is a B-vitamin supplement that is often recommended in conjunction with a healthy and balanced diet.
While it is impossible to guarantee whether or not hair will grow back, there are trends and types that are more prone to regrow than others. Conditions that cause scarring or destruction of the hair follicle typically do not regrow (lupus, sarcoidosis, lichen planopilaris) while conditions without scarring are more capable of regrowth (pattern hair loss, alopecia areata, and telogen effluvium).
Most causes of hair loss primarily affect the scalp, although some autoimmune disorders can affect eyelashes, eyebrows, the bearded area, or even body hair.
Treatment depends on the cause of hair loss but may include prescription creams or sprays, steroid shots in the scalp, or pills to suppress the immune system. Sometimes changing hair care practices is also necessary.
Propecia® (finasteride) is a prescription oral medication that is FDA approved for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. Studies show that Propecia stopped the progression of hair loss in 86% of men, and 65% of men achieved significant hair regrowth.
While Rogaine is not the right product for everybody, it can significantly help those struggling with male and female pattern hair loss. It works by dilating small blood vessels in the scalp and stimulating hair growth. It is approved by the FDA as a hair loss product.
If Rogaine is being used to treat pattern hair loss, you will typically lose or shed the hair you have regrown and the pattern hair loss will continue to progress.
Female pattern hair loss comes from many different genes that can be inherited from either parent or both.
Telogen effluvium is a hair condition that can be the result of excessive emotional stress, among other triggers. Typically the diffuse hair shedding doesn’t begin until 3-6 months after the inciting event. Although it can take 6 months or more for the excessive shedding to slow down and stop, the hair does usually grow back to its former capacity.
While dying hair doesn’t usually cause hair loss, it does damage the hair and make it more likely to break off. If you’re struggling with hair loss, it may be a good idea to stop dying your hair, at least temporarily.
Because shampoo does not usually affect hair growth, this is a personal preference. However, some people opt for shampoos or brands like Nioxin that claim to promote a healthy scalp. Keep in mind these are not approved by the FDA as hair loss treatments.
It depends. There is significant variability in what insurances will cover, so be sure to check with your insurance carrier prior to treatment.