Alopecia ( hair loss ) - The reasons behind it

Alopecia ( hair loss)- INTRODUCTION

Alopecia is a term that is used to describe the condition of absence of hair in the region where it normally presents.A term such as anagen hairs indicates the condition where the hair is growing while telogen is a description that the hair is dead or resting.

Telogen effluvium which means diffuse pattern of hair that is loss which results in temporary hair loss without causing any further baldness.

Anagen effluvium means a diffuse pattern of hair that is shedding which wills sooner or later leads to complete baldness

Cicatrial alopecia means a condition where the scalp appears to be smooth with no evidence of any follicular opening on the hair. Famous term include scarring alopecia.

Androgenic alopecia is a pattern of hair loss that affects both sexes and most commonly men at the age of 50 years old as a result of hormone stimulation of the hair root.

Alopecia areata is a condition where the pattern of hair loss is patchy and no evidence of scarring is detected.

Traction alopecia most commonly present due to pulling of the hair which leads to a patchy hair loss and it can also be related to trichotilliomania which is a habit of pulling hair

Tinea capitis is caused by fungal infection that leads to a patchy hair loss or broken hair and may or may not associate with any irritation or inflammation. It can be associated with many children.

Post pregnancy individual may also suffer from alopecia as a result of alteration of the body hormone and physiological factors.

Alopecia (hair loss) –EPIDEMIOLOGY

Alopecia (hair loss) is always associated with age and sex where it is more common in male compare to female and increasingly with age (Androgenic alopecia) as well as children ( tinea capitis ). Statistical facts shows that around 50 % of Caucasian male at 50 years of age will suffer from male pattern of baldness while 37% post menopausal women may also suffer from alopecia.

Alopecia (hair loss) – RISK FACTORS

Among the risk factors for alopecia include positive family history, someone who is pregnant or post pregnancy as well as poor source of nutrition and someone who has to face further physical or mental stress. Genetically it is associated with autosomal dominant condition

Alopecia (hair loss) – CAUSES/ETIOLOGIES

Telogen effluvium or diffuse pattern of hair that is loss which result in temporary hair loss without causing any further baldness is caused by several factors such as malnutrition due to lack of iron and zinc , pregnant women or suffer from thyroid problems hyper ( overactive) or hypo ( under active ) thyroid, any stress, tension or pressure either mentally or physically , any drugs such as ‘blood thinning medicine’ anti coagulation, vitamin A retinoid, blood pressure medication ( beta blockers),immunosuppressant, biology agent or chemotherapeutic agent ( interferon ) .

Anagen effluvium means a diffuse pattern of hair that is shedding which wills sooner or later leads to complete baldness causes by any x ray treatment, or any medication such as levedopa for Parkinson disease, anti –cancer medication such as chemotherapeutic agent ( bromocriptine)for pituitary tumour or suffers from poison attack such as arsenic , bismuth ,thallium)and finally mycosis fungoides.

Cicatricial alopecia means a condition where the scalp appears to be smooth with no evidence of any follicular opening on the hair. Famous term include scarring alopecia is caused by any defect during birth (congenital defect) or developmental defect. Besides that, leprosy or cutaneous leishmaniasis as well as viral infection such as varicella zoster virus may also contribute. Any physical insults such acid or alkali burns or exposure to high temperature or freezing may also leads to this condition. Other conditions such as connective tissue disorder that include sarcodosis or lupus (discoid lupus) or lichen planus and cancer such as basal cell carcinoma may leads to cicatricial alopecia.

Androgenic alopecia which is a pattern of hair loss that affects both sexes and most commonly men at the age of 50 years old as a result of hormone stimulation of the hair root is caused by hormonal disorder such as adrenal, pituitary as well as ovarian hyperplasia and present of cyst on the ovary ( polycystic ovarian syndrome) , carcinoid syndrome and any chemical , drugs or hormone such as progesterone, testosterone, and steroids.

Alopecia areata is a condition where the pattern of hair loss is patchy and no evidence of scarring is detected not reasonable and concrete cause is detected and mostly due to autoimmune causes or Down syndrome, diabetes or vitilgo. Traction alopecia most commonly present due to pulling of the hair which leads to a patchy hair loss is either caused by tight hand band or habit of pulling hairs.

Tinea capitis or fungal infection which is more common in children is caused by (Trichophyton sp.) and ( Microsporum sp.) fungals.

algorithm for alopecia ( hair loss)

Alopecia areta

Traction alopecia

Tinea capitis ( fungal infection)

Androgenic alopecia

Telogen effluvium

anagen effluvium

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