Baldness Medical Analysis

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The following is a brief baldness medical analysis, a medical discussion and outline of Baldness, its terminology, classification, diagnosis, and treatment. It was prepared for informational purposes only by a well-respected physician, who strongly advises that all individuals seeking treatment for baldness or baldness-related problems, undergo a complete medical evaluation for such problems, by a board-certified dermatologist, before initiating any treatments for these conditions.

Hair growth occurs in cycles. Every cycle consists of:

Following catagen a new hair begins growing in the follicle, thus starting a new cycle. Anagen for eyelashes and eyebrows is about one to six months; anagen for scalp hairs is about two to six years. Normally, 100 scalp hairs reach the end of telogen daily and fall out. When more than this number go into telogen daily, this is called telogen effluvium, and noticeable hair loss occurs.

Growth of hair in men and women is controlled by androgens (male hormones). The androgen testosterone stimulates hair growth in the pubic area and under arms; and the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) stimulates growth of the beard.

Baldness (alopecia) is of cosmetic or psychologic concern; but at times may be a major sign of systemic disease.

Alopecia may be:

Nonscarring Diffuse Hair Loss

  • Male Pattern Baldness (androgenetic alopecia); common; familial; related to male hormone; genetic; starts at temples or top of crown and can spread causing widepread thinning or nearly total loss.

  • Female Pattern Baldness involves hair thinning frontally, parietally, and on the crown, and is also related to male hormone and genes.

  • Telogen Effluvium refers to loss of scalp hairs because many hairs enter the resting phase simultaneously; often caused by drugs such as anti-cancer drugs, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, oral contraceptives, lithium, warfarin, H2 blockers, and others; it also may be caused by nutritional deficiencies and by stressors like surgery, psychiatric problems, thyroid disease, other hormonal conditions, childbirth, and menopause.

  • Anagen Effluvium refers to loss of scalp hair in its growth phase and is commonly caused by radiation, by anti-cancer drugs, mercury, thallium, boric acid, and vitamin A toxicity.

  • Trichodystrophies (primary hair shaft abnormalities) include bamboo hair, bubble hair (related to excessive hair dryer use), knotting of hair (due to excessive scratching or rubbing), and beaded or brittle hair (a rare genetic disorder).

  • Congenital Disorders of Hair include wooly hair nevus (tight coils of hair); the uncombable hair syndrome; hair shafts that break easily leading to broken stumps; and brittle hair due to an error of sulfur metabolism.

    Nonscarring Focal Hair Loss

    Scarring Focal Hair Loss

    Diagnosis of alopecia

    This involves the following:

    Treatments of alopecia

    The treatments for alopecia are:


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