Hair loss (alopecia) can occur in men, women and children of any age. A healthy scalp can shed up to 100 hairs per day; nevertheless, if you are losing over 100 hairs per day, or you notice abnormal balding patterns (in patches, or diminished facial or body hair), it is advisable to obtain a professional opinion.
The most common type of hair loss in healthy young males is androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss occurs gradually and is related to a strong family history and/or overproduction of active androgens (dehydrotestosterone). In males, a receding frontal hair line, bitemporal scalp or crown area is suggestive of androgenetic alopecia. In females, hair loss may be spread out with accentuation of the vertex and crown of the scalp.
Alopecia areata is also a very common autoimmune condition where there is abnormal shedding in patches that result in velvety smooth bald areas. It can affect the facial and body hair and can be associated with other conditions like autoimmune thyroid disorders and vitiligo.
There are multiple other processes that can result in scarring or non-scarring forms of alopecia. Telogen effluvium, systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus, lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, infectious causes (tinea capitis, secondary syphilis), acne keloidalis nucchae, folliculitis decalvans and dissecting cellulitis of the scalp are some of the many conditions that we diagnose and treat at Houston Dermatology and Plastic Surgery.
What to expect from your hair loss appointment:
- Extensive discussion about triggers, hair practices, products, medications and co-morbidities.
- Comprehensive examination of the scalp including a hair pull test and trichoscopy (use of polarized/non-polarized light with magnification).
- Blood work when appropriate.
- Scalp biopsy when recommended.
- Discussion about goals and expectations.
We have considerable experience managing topical, intralesional and systemic medications for the several types of hair loss. We will also provide orientation about scalp microneedling, platelet rich plasma mesotherapy and hair restoration surgical interventions when appropriate.