“Doc, I’m losing clumps of my hair in the shower!” Hair loss, or alopecia, is a common problem that most people will encounter during their lifetime. There are several causes of alopecia, and treaments for these causes can vary.
- Male Pattern Baldness – Male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss in men, but as the above picture shows, women too can have hormonally induced alopecia.
- Acute Illness – It is common to lose hair 3 to 4 months after an illness with a high fever, surgery or childbirth. The hair usually starts growing back by 6 months in these instances.
- Chronic Disorders – Thyroid disorders, iron deficiency anemia, lupus and diabetes also frequently cause hair loss. However, if the disorder can be corrected, the hair often begins to grow back once correction has been achieved.
- Fungal Infections – Fungal infections of the scalp often cause hair loss in children, usually in patches. These can be treated with over the counter or prescription anti-fungal medications, shampoos, or lotions.
- Side Effects – Prescription medications, such as blood thinners, antidepressants and birth control pills, may have side effects that cause hair loss. Additionally, medications used for high blood pressure, gout and heart disease can cause alopecia. Stopping these medications usually will reverse the side effect.
Some conditions that cause hair loss can be treated, but it is important to see your physician and determine the specific cause to find the proper treatment. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and would like to schedule an appointment, contact our office at 208-772-5204.
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