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HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN

   

 

Hair loss, otherwise known as alopecia, is a common problem among women and can be treated in a variety of ways. It is important to first understand the reason behind the hair loss so that the each woman may be treated most effectively.

Type

Characteristics/Associated Symptoms

Causes

Possible Treatments

Androgenic Alopecia

 

 

Male pattern baldness:

   Localized thinning of hair which may include bald spots.

 

   Associated symptoms include:   acne, irregular menses, or  hirsutism.

 

Female pattern baldness:

   Uniform hair thinning usually on top.

 

 

Hormonal Imbalance (androgen sensitivity)

may be due to menopause or polycystic ovary syndrome

 

 

 

 

Genetic (female pattern only)

Antiandrogen medications (ex. spironolactone)

 

Oral contraceptive pills

 

Topical treatments (ex. minoxidil (Rogaine))

 

Hair Transplant

Telogen effluvium

(an interruption in the normal "life cycle" of your hair)

Usually occurs in a pattern.

 

 

Major illness

Stress

Surgery

Rapid weight loss

Nutritional deficiency (iron, vitamin A, protein)

High fever

Change in medications

Hormonal Dysfunction (thyroid)

Childbirth

Stress reduction

Change in diet

Change in medication or medication dosing

Nutritional supplements (iron/vitamin A)

Alopecia Areata

Hair loss in a patch

 

Genetic

Autoimmune factors

Stress

Observation (it may re-grow on its own)

Topical steroids or injections

Anagen Effluvium

Complete hair loss

Chemotherapeutic agents

Hair returns after therapy has ended

Information from: The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 357: 1620-1630, October 18, 2007, Number 16.





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