What is Alopecia?
As we all know, baldness or hair loss is generally known as Alopecia. It is a condition that affects both men and women in various forms. Medical experts say that the condition is sometimes a result of genetics. However, it can also be attributed to problems with the immune system which affects a healthy scalp, causing hair to fall out. While alopecia is recognised as a term that refers to hair loss on top of one’s head, it can also affect other areas of the body including the face, arms and legs.
Alopecia may appear in a number of ways. It may begin by shedding hair slowly over time or can start to fall out in patches or chunks. It can affect certain concentrated areas, or it can spread to cover an entire area.
Proper diagnosis of alopecia is essential. Other ailments such as inflammation, hair follicle loss and fibrosis can mimic the symptoms of alopecia. However, because they are not alopecia in the strict sense, misdiagnosis and mistreatment can have adverse results to the sufferer. That is why it is important to seek proper medical advice in the diagnosis and alopecia treatment.
It can be a difficult process for one to lose their hair. Often, people are embarrassed to obtain a formal medical diagnosis. This is especially true for those sufferers where hair falls out in patches or clumps.
Proper medical treatment should be sought in order to get to the root of the problem. A dermatologist or general practitioner is usually able to be the best professional to see. In many cases, a medical device can be used to perform a trichoscopy, which is a process used to determine the cause of alopecia. A trichoscopy can help determine hair loss is associated with genetics or autoimmune issues.
Male and Female Alopecia
The Common Causes For Male Alopecia
There are several causes that have been known to cause hair loss in men. One of the main issues is a lack of hormones or a drop in glandular secretions. For example, men over the age of 30 will lose testosterone as they age. This can directly affect hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Other root causes could be in regards to steroid use, anemia, vitamin A deficiency, thyroid problems, and allergic reactions to shampoos, dyes, and other stimuli. Aside from these common causes, men could also have a hereditary link to the issue overall.
Common Causes For Female Alopecia
Women are less likely to develop alopecia today. The most common cause of this issue in women is glandular dysfunction and a slowdown in the hormonal release. Research indicates that women that are going through menopause or have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism are at greater risk for thinning hair, and loss. Other common causes can be linked to allergic reactions to certain chemicals, dyes, straighteners, and additives found in shampoos, conditioners, and beauty supplies that may be purchased over the counter. As with male symptoms, the early signs start with thinning hair in spots across the scalp and hair loss in patches.
Support Resources for Sufferers of Alopecia
If you require support for Alopecia, contact the Australian Alopecia Areata Foundation click here.
For more Australian Government assistance click here.