Hair loss is a very common concern for both men and women alike. It can be long-term and chronic or more acute and temporary. The condition can be heredity and lead to what is commonly called male or female pattern baldness, aka androgenic alopecia. This often presents as a receding hairline and/or visible thinning throughout the scalp. The hair strands themselves also become thinner over time.
Another chronic form of the condition is called alopecia areata where a person loses hair in specific patches, leaving circular bald areas on the scalp. This is an autoimmune condition leading the body to attack its own hair follicles. Alopecia areata can also lead to loss of body hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes, beards, arm and leg hair and basically anywhere on the body.
Acute hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium, occurs on a more short-term basis and usually follows emotional or physical stressors and illness. For example, it is very common for a woman to lose a significant amount of hair after delivering a baby. This is called increased shedding. Most of my patients tell me, “It’s coming out by the handful!”
The Telltale Signs of Hair Loss
Nashville patients also complain that their part line has widened or is much more prominent. This acute type is also very common after trauma, surgical procedures, especially when general anesthesia was used, and major life/emotional stress. It can also result from taking certain medications, drastic crash dieting, low iron levels, or significant hormonal changes. These are temporary causes of the condition and most patients will regrow their hair back to the original thickness over a period of six to 12 months.
There are many types and many causes, but the emotional outcome of lost hair is often the same. Most people with the condition are troubled by their appearance on a daily basis.
Finding the Hair Loss Treatment That’s Right for You
At Gold Skin Care dermatology clinic in Nashville, TN, Dr. Michael Gold and our physician assistants are very knowledgeable and equipped to assess your type and develop a specific hair loss treatment plan for each of our patients. We meet with each patient and review the patterns that may have been noticed with lost hair and perform the appropriate tests for each patient, which can include blood work and sometimes a biopsy of the scalp to analyze the hair follicles. Using this information we can prescribe appropriate hair loss treatments and medications based on the cause.
These can include, but is not limited to, injections, topical solutions for the scalp, medications, and several others. We are also very fortunate to have a medical spa that has many supplements and topical treatments that help especially well with acute, short-term hair loss. These hair loss treatments help nourish the hair follicle and stop it from shedding so much excess hair, as well as to improve the regrowth of hair. For androgenic alopecia, we focus hair loss treatments on slowing and stopping the condition. As part of our office, we also have Dr. Jack Fisher, a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in hair restoration and transplantation for over 30 years. We are very pleased to have him working with us. Dr. Fisher and his staff are available to us daily for consultation with our patients.