Alopecia: What it is and how to treat it
There has been a lot of talk about alopecia lately. Dr. Christine Shaver answers some of your top questions about what it is and what can be done about it.
What is alopecia?
“Alopecia” is the general medical term for any type of hair loss. The most common type of alopecia is called “androgenetic alopecia,” also known as genetic thinning. It occurs in both men and women as they age.
What is alopecia areata?
‘Alopecia areata’ is a type of autoimmune hair loss, where the body’s own protective immune cells begin to attack the hair follicles. The hair loss usually presents as localized patches of baldness that respond quite well to injections of cortisone.
How can alopecia be treated?
Androgenetic (genetic) thinning is often treated with a combination of medicine and/or surgery. Medicines, such as oral finasteride or topical minoxidil, are used to regrow hair that has been lost and to prevent further thinning and are particularly effective in the early stages of balding. If the patient has more extensive hair loss, surgical hair restoration can be considered. Autoimmune alopecia areata is often treated with topical and/or injectable steroids to calm the underlying autoimmune attack on the hair follicles. Inflammatory scarring (cicatricial) alopecia often requires oral antibiotics and topical steroids.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ALOPECIA TREATMENTS, SCHEDULE A CONSULT WITH DR. SHAVER.
Updated: 2023-08-15 | Published: 2022-04-05