Baldness or Androgentic Alopecia Things to Know

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Hair loss can have multiple causes but, in the vast majority of men, it is androgen tic alopecia, more commonly known with the term “male pattern baldness”.

Hair loss in women

Even an ever increasing number of women, equal to 30%, can present hair thinning and thinning with evident psychological and social repercussions. Other causes of hair loss include thyroid disorders, iron deficiency, high fever, crash diets, certain medications, etc. 

Baldness: the myths to dispel

Many myths must be dispelled: hair loss is not caused by a slowing of blood circulation, by blocked follicles, by frequent shampoos, by the use of hats or helmets. It is also important to remember that most adults lose approximately 75 to 100 hairs per day due to a natural process through which some hair falls out while others grow back; as long as this “turnover” remains balanced, the number of hairs on the scalp remains constant.

Another minor cause of hair loss is stress, which can affect accelerating genetically programmed hair loss.

The genetic factor

Hair loss propensity inherits from both family members and begins to develop after puberty. The hair predisposed to androgen tic alopecia begins to decrease in diameter and their life cycle is shortened until their eventual disappearance on the contrary the hair present on the posterior and lateral regions of the scalp are genetically “permanent” and destined to remain stable throughout the life.

The types of baldness

We can classify baldness into two main categories: permanent alopecia and transient alopecia.

PERMANENT ALOPECIA

From physical causes: Radiation, scarring of burns and various traumas, trichotillomania, brushing, curlers, hair dryers, etc.

From chemical causes: Ironing and permanents that is particularly aggressive.

From infectious diseases: Mycosis, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, tertiary syphilis, fabulous ringworm, etc.

From autoimmune diseases:  Sarcoidosis, scleroderma, lichen planus, etc. 

TRANSITORY ALOPECIA

From hormonal causes: Post-pregnancy, thyroid disorders, etc.

From infectious causes: Typhoid, scarlet fever, etc.

From deficiencies in: Iron, proteins, vitamins, zinc, magnesium, etc.

From autoimmune diseases: Alopecia areata, etc.

From drugs: Latrogenic alopecia.

From chemical causes: Tinctures and permanents.

From psycho-physical stress: Nervous breakdowns, fever, etc.

Female pattern baldness: How to deal with the problem

No, there is no effective cure for female pattern baldness or female androgenetic alopecia.

An iron deficiency associated with ovarian polycystosis and familiarity with baldness in women (mother, aunt, grandmother) is frequently found in these patients. All hormone tests in the vast majority of cases are normal unless the clinical examination directs us otherwise. The evolution of thinning is slow and progressive with changes in some periods of life which are: the post pubertal period, the pregnancy during which the hair can be even more beautiful and then worsen immediately afterwards, the pre-menopause and menopause.

So if the thinning presents clear clinical conditions, the only therapy capable of improving the problem can be hair transplantation (or rather hair transplantation) which must always be carried out according to a clear schedule given the evolution of the problem.

Can baldness be cured?

I have always believed that there are no cures for androgen tic baldness to date and that if it is intended that the hair should fall out, it will fall out. There are some drugs such as Minoxidil (it is a lotion) or Finasteride (it is a drug that must be taken by mouth daily) which in some patients, especially young patients, can delay the hair loss process if taken regularly and for a period enough; the drawback of these therapies, however, is that upon discontinuation, the effects obtained in years of treatment disappear in a few months.

Therefore the best thing is to contact your dermatologist for a possible evaluation of the pros and cons of these therapies (Minoxidil and Finasteride) which can also be used in combination, paying particular attention also to the side effects, not only immediate but also long-term.

Baldness: what are the main causes?

The main causes of baldness can be multiple and often of dermatological relevance and range: from alopecia areata, to lupus, to lichen, to endocrine disorders such as those thyroid, iron deficiency, excessively restrictive diets, prolonged use of some drugs, fevers high, stress and more.

The baldness of surgical relevance in both men and women are male and female androgen tic (now more and more frequent) and post traumatic baldness (scars, burns or results of interventions or therapies that have involved the scalp such as neurosurgical ones ).

In the first case, that of androgen tic baldness, the use of self-transplantation or “hair transplantation” is used almost exclusively, while in post-traumatic forms, scalp expansion operations are used, reserving the self-transplantation for more limited cases or sometimes as complete surgery or finishing if necessary after scalp expansion.

Baldness: At what age does it begin to manifest itself?

There is no fixed age, but anatomical situations that can occur with different times and topography of baldness.

As proof of this we can say that in some cases (the most frequent) it begins to manifest itself after the age of 18 and goes on very quickly; in others, however, it manifests itself in a more subtle and slow way whereby baldness is pursued throughout life. Only clinical monitoring of these different ways of evolution will allow hair transplantation with the right technique at the right time.

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