Dr. Christine Shaver of Bernstein Medical explains the top 5 causes of hair loss.
Most men who have hair loss are experiencing common genetic thinning based on their family history. Did you know there are other reasons why men can also lose hair? The following are the top 5 reasons why men can experience hair loss. Interestingly, one of them – scarring hair loss – is actually on the rise.
This is the most common type of hair loss experienced by men. The medical term for it is androgenetic alopecia (AGA), also referred to as “male pattern baldness.” It is due to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which acts on genetically sensitive hair follicles causing them to miniaturize over each growth cycle. This results in shorter, smaller, finer hairs. Over time, this “miniaturization” process leads to the appearance of thinning or balding.
How to Treat it: This type of hair loss can be treated with medication and/or surgery depending upon the age of the patient and the extent of the hair loss.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition where the body produces antibodies against its own hair follicles. It is characterized by the sudden appearance of circular patches of bald spots on the scalp, beard, eyelashes, or other parts of the body.
How to Treat it: Treatment consists of topical or injectable steroid medication.
Telogen effluvium is a condition where hair is shifted into its resting phase and then several months later is shed. This can be caused by several medications and many different medical conditions or intense psychologic and physical stressors.
How to Treat it: Fortunately, telogen effluvium is usually reversible once the stressor resolves and specific medical treatment is not needed. Full resolution can take up to 1-2 years.
Trichotillomania is a compulsive disorder characterized by pulling of one’s hair. While the scalp is the most common location, patients may also pluck their eyebrows or eyelashes compulsively. It results in patchy areas of hair loss with broken hairs of varying lengths.
How to Treat it: Patients suspected of having trichotillomania should be sent for psychiatric evaluation.
Lichen Planopilaris (LPP)
Lichen Planopilaris (LPP) is a type of scarring hair loss that is caused by inflammation that affects the hair follicles. It shows up as localized scaly, red patches that eventually results in scarring and hair loss. Symptoms of itch or tingling may be present. It is important to treat this condition so that scarring can be prevented.
How to Treat it: Treatment includes oral and topical steroids, and both oral and topical anti-inflammatory medications to slow the process and halt further progression of hair loss.
Read our blog for more information the above conditions.
It is important that patients who experience hair loss have a consultation with a dermatologist to make sure that the diagnosis is correct and the treatment appropriate.
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Updated: 2023-08-15 | Published: 2022-05-04