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Beginning Research Into Causes For Hair Loss

Beginning Research Into Causes For Hair Loss


Beginning Research Into Causes For Hair Loss

by D.J. Verret, MD

For millions of people across the world, thinning hair is a significant psychological problem. If you happen to be one of the people who suffer from hair loss, what are your options for treatment? Where do you turn? Is there hope?

There are many causes of hair loss and the treatments depend on type of loss that a patient may be experiencing. For some, the alopecia may be due to an underlying medical problem such as thyroid dysfunction while for others it may be genetic. Determining the cause is the first step to determining appropriate treatment and possible success rates at hair growth.

The best person to consult first for a reason for hair loss is going to be a primary care physician. Often, a complete history and physical examination can provide clues to the cause for alopecia. In some more difficult cases, referral to a hair specialist or dermatologist may be necessary to find answers. Blood tests or even a biopsy may be needed to make a definitive diagnosis. These can often be performed by primary care physicians as well.

Treatment for alopecia is as varied as causes. Therefore, once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan can be formed. Treatment may be aimed at correcting an underlying disease, surgically improving the bare area of the scalp or other hair bearing surface, or preventing future hair loss. While not all causes of hair loss can be corrected, they can often be moderated and sometimes reversed. For patients who suffer from male or female pattern baldness, more appropriately termed androgenic alopecia, hair transplant surgery may be necessary to restore a full head of hair.

In the end, patient beware. There are many treatments which are touted to cure hair loss. While there are some herbal and dietary supplements which have been shown to improve some causes of hair loss, there are many which have no scientific evidence behind them. As with any treatment as well, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting to use or take any medication, even over the counter herbs. These may interfere with other treatments for other diseases and your doctor should be made aware.

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