The low-down on alopecia
There are many different triggers for hair loss. You may be seeing thinning hair due to hereditary factors (male pattern baldness), it may be due to a lack of good hair care, restrictive hair styles, stress in everyday life, diet, a side effect of a health problem or it could be an on-going hair condition. Alopecia is a hair condition that needs to be dealt with as early as possible in order to effectively treat it.
What is alopecia?
Alopecia is classed as an autoimmune disease. This means the human biological system that should ordinarily attack bacteria to keep our bodies safe, malfunctions and attacks the human body itself. In the case of alopecia, it attacks the hair follicles. Once the follicles are damaged hair growth is slowed down or prevented and the result is hair loss. Whereas we tend to think of hair loss is a condition rife in middle age, alopecia is most common in people in their twenties.
What is the prognosis?
The good news is, in most cases, it is treatable and it is not permanent, but there are different forms of the disease. For instance, alopecia areata causes patchy hair loss on the scalp, alopecia totalis results in hair loss all over the scalp and alopecia universalis causes hair loss all over the body.
Do I have alopecia?
There are many reasons for hair loss, so do not jump to the immediate conclusion that the issue is alopecia. The important point is to act on your concerns. We are all losing hair every day – this is natural. It is quite natural to lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. Any more than this, or if you are seeing bald patches, it could be you may have an issue and that you would benefit from professional advice. Contact your GP and if there is a probability of alopecia he/she will arrange an appointment with a dermatologist.
What treatments are there for alopecia?
The aim is to attempt to repress the immune system and reduce inflammation. The most common treatment is corticosteroid injections which are repeated every 4 to 6 weeks and applied topically. It will take several weeks for the hair to resume normal growth.
Another common topical treatment is minoxidil (commonly known as Rogaine). This slows the loss of hair while at the same time manages to stimulate new hair growth. Although not recommended for long term use it is readily available without a prescription.
Similar to minoxidil is finasteride which is more commonly known by its brand name Propecia. This is actually taken orally in pill form and has a good success rate. However recent reports encourage users to be aware of possible side effects.
Skalp® Micro Pigmentation offers a great service for people struggling with hair loss or who just want to join the bald fashion trend and look their very best. Trained practitioners apply pigments to the scalp so it appears as if you have a full head of hair – but cut fashionably short.
Skalp® have clinics around the world. We have clinics in New York, Los Angeles, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Marbella, Milan and Amsterdam.