HAIR LOSS AND TYPES
Although it is an extremely common problem in our country, there is still a great ignorance about alopecia.
Hair loss is not all the same nor does it end the same way. The truth is that there are many types depending on their origin and shape. It is very important to correctly determine our alopecia type in order to stop hair loss and even recover hair.
Because yes, although it is still surprising for many patients, in most cases it will be possible to stop hair loss and improve its appearance and density with medical treatment. In addition, hair transplantation is a safe, fast and effective option for many people suffering from hair loss.
Here we describe the most common types of alopecia:
Androgenetic or androgenic alopecia
Also known as androgenic alopecia, androgenetic alopecia represents about 95% of the most common cases. It is produced by genetic factors and affects mainly the male population, although it is also common in women.
Contrary to what is widely believed, androgenetic alopecia is not based on hair loss as much as the loss of thickness. The patient notices that the hair is thinner and straight until it begins to show light on certain parts of the head: men on the entrances and crown, and women on the central and parietal frontal area. Gradually, the hair will weaken and weaken until it finally breaks. At this stage, the hair follicles stop working, so the shed hair is not regenerated.
There are different treatments available to stop and even reverse androgenetic alopecia in both men and women. It is important to act early. Therefore, as soon as you begin to perceive the first symptoms, a visit to the dermatologist would be appropriate.
However, the only effective procedure to reverse baldness in more advanced stages will be with hair transplantation. Medical treatments based on medications and lotions can thicken hair and increase density, but hair follicles that stop working will never heal. In other words, hair that has already fallen will not grow.
There is an androgenetic alopecia very similar to diffuse alopecia: the hair gradually becomes thin, brittle and weak. However, in this case, the loss of density occurs generally across the head. The reason for this is that hair follicles gradually shrink.
The key difference with androgenetic alopecia is its origin. While androgenetic origin is due to an inherited gene, diffuse is associated with diseases and deficiencies in the body, including: hormonal changes; liver, kidney or intestinal diseases; thyroid disorders, poor diet, eating disorders and nutritional imbalances; stress; or certain medications and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy.
The other big difference with androgenetic alopecia is that it is reversible: the hair follicle can be recovered, meaning that the shed hair can grow back.
To achieve this, it will be important not only to resort to appropriate dermatological treatment, but above all to identify the trigger for alopecia and affect it. For this, it will be necessary to go to a specialist who will identify the source of the problem and give us the necessary instructions for treatment.
Finally, it is important to point out the role that food and a healthy lifestyle in general play in the health of our hair. A balanced diet and paying attention to aspects of our lives such as stress will be two ways to prevent the appearance of widespread alopecia.
Alopecia areata can occur at any time since childhood and affects both men and women, although it occurs most often in young adults. Although experts point to an autoimmune origin, it is an unpredictable type of alopecia and its causes have not yet been fully clarified. Stress is also a potential trigger for this disease.
Unlike in the previous two cases, alopecia areata is easily recognizable as androgenetic and widespread alopecia can be confused without a previous review.
The evolution of this alopecia varies from one patient to another. From the initial symptoms (the appearance of the first hairless patch on the scalp) to the most severe stage, it can take weeks or years.
Despite the severity of alopecia areata manifestation in many cases, its response to the treatments prescribed by the specialist is generally positive and the recovery rate is very high.
It is known as cicatricial alopecia that occurs as a result of a disease or trauma that damages or destroys the hair follicles. Where follicles were previously located, a fibrous scar tissue appears that prevents hair growth. It is a less common type of alopecia that can occur in both men and women.
The main causes of this type of alopecia are mechanical trauma such as burns or surgeries; autoimmune diseases such as lupus among others bacterial and fungal infections or tumors.
Other symptoms accompanying hair loss, such as itching, tenderness, pain, scaling, pustules, and redness may appear.
Once again, acting at the first signs will be necessary to stop hair loss. However, it is an irreversible type of alopecia, so the lost hair cannot be recovered. In these cases, hair transplantation is the most appropriate solution provided that the specialist evaluates the patient and determines the tendency to the procedure.