Medical Conditions That Cause Hair Loss?

Many medical conditions can cause hair loss, but it is important to remember that these are not the only things that can lead to thinning or balding. Stress, diet, and hereditary factors all play a role in how much hair you have

It’s also possible for people with no underlying health condition to experience sporadic bouts of hair loss due to hormonal fluctuations. The good news is, there are treatments available for alopecia as well as other reasons for thinning hair which should help you deal with this frustrating problem

Don’t panic if your hair falls out, but do see a doctor if you are losing hair at an alarming rate or if you have any other symptoms that concern you. There are many potential causes of hair loss, and a professional can help you identify the root cause and recommend an appropriate treatment.

Common medical conditions that cause hair loss include:

Alopecia areata

This is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in patchy baldness. Alopecia areata can occur at any age, but it is most common in people younger than 30.

People with alopecia areata may lose their hair on any part of the body, but most often it appears on the scalp. Bald patches called plaques typically develop where no hair grows and gradually enlarge. Researchers estimated that the condition affects around 1 in 1000 people.

Androgenetic alopecia

This is the most common type of hair loss and is commonly known as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. It’s due to a combination of genetic and hormonal factors that lead to progressively thinning hair.

Traction alopecia

Hair loss caused by applying excessive force to the hair follicles over a long period of time is called traction alopecia. It is often seen in people who wear their hair in tight braids, ponytails, or weaves.

Traction alopecia requires early treatment to prevent further hair loss, which usually just means avoiding any hairstyles which put stress on the hair follicles.

Cicatricial alopecia

This rare type of hair loss occurs when scar tissue forms in the affected area and prevents new hairs from growing. Scarring is caused by an inflammatory process that destroys follicles.

Telogen effluvium

This type of hair loss happens following physical or emotional shock when there is a shift in the normal growth phase of your hair (which is called the anagen phase). As a result, more hairs than usual enter the resting period (telogen phase) and fall out. Fortunately, the effects are usually temporary but can last up to six months. Telogen effluvium often results in diffuse thinning rather than bald patches

Involutional alopecia

This is a natural type of hair loss that occurs as you get older. Hair growth slows due to the shortening of follicle growth phases, and an increase in hair shedding.

There is no cure for involutional alopecia, but there are treatments available to help slow down the progression of the condition.

Thyroid disease

Both hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can lead to hair loss. This is because the thyroid hormones play a role in regulating hair growth. Hyperthyroidism causes hair loss by blocking the hair follicles, often resulting in hair thinning across the head rather than in patches.

Chemotherapy

This common type of cancer treatment can cause temporary hair loss as the chemotherapy drugs kill cells, including those in hair follicles. While hair generally starts to grow back after treatment is finished, it may be curly, with a different color or texture than before.

Radiation treatment

Radiation treatment for cancer can also cause hair loss. The severity of the side effects depends on how close to the head and neck the radiation is targeted.

Hormonal changes

Many women experience temporary hair loss in the months following childbirth, due to the sudden drop in estrogen levels. Menopause can also cause hair thinning as a result of hormonal changes.

Dietary factors

Poor nutrition can lead to hair loss because it can cause deficiencies in key nutrients like iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and protein.

Extreme diets or yo-yo dieting can often have a negative effect.

Stress

The stress hormone cortisol can cause hair loss by disrupting the normal hair growth cycle. It’s one of many causes of telogen effluvium hair loss and should clear up as stress levels go down.

How to deal with thinning or balding due to a health condition

If you are experiencing hair loss as a result of an underlying health condition, your doctor may be able to prescribe medication or other treatments to help. There are also a number of over-the-counter products available that can help to thicken hair or disguise bald patches.

Common hair loss medications include:

Hair loss treatments

Hair transplant surgery is a common, yet expensive treatment for people with permanent hair loss. This involves moving hair follicles from the back of the head to thinning or balding areas. While surgery can produce impressive results in some instances, it’s not suitable for all types of hair loss, including any temporary conditions such as telogen effluvium

Platelet-Rich Plasma is a treatment that is used to help stimulate hair growth. It involves extracting blood from the patient, then separating out the platelets, which are rich in growth factors. The platelets are then injected back into the scalp, where they help to promote hair growth. Unlike hair transplant surgery, it’s suitable for conditions with patchy hair loss such as alopecia areata.

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Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a non-surgical treatment that is often used to disguise hair loss. This involves getting small amounts of ink injected into the scalp, similar to how tattoos are put into skin. The ink mimics the appearance of short, fine hairs on the scalp. As well as providing good coverage for thinning areas, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety caused by hair loss. It’s suitable for most common causes of hair loss including the #1 cause, male and female pattern baldness.

There are natural options out there, such as hot oil hair treatments, which may help to thicken hair. Though low-risk and often available for use at home, they are typically reserved for minor overall hair thinning and are unsuitable for excessive hair loss.

Faq

How can I stop thinning hair?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to deal with hair loss will vary depending on the cause. However, some measures you can take include:

If the thinning persists after several weeks of following lifestyle and dietary changes, you may want to look into other treatments.

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Do hair follicles grow back?

In most cases, hair will grow back after the underlying health condition is treated. This is because most conditions don’t kill the follicle, but rather cause it to go into a resting phase. Once the underlying medical condition is dealt with, many people notice their hair growing back thicker and faster than before.

However, it’s important to remember that hair loss can be permanent in some cases, especially if the hair follicles have been damaged.

What causes Telogen effluvium?

Many factors can contribute to telogen effluvium, including:

In women, birth control pills have also been linked to the condition.

Telogen effluvium is a temporary form of hair loss that is caused by a disruption in the normal hair growth cycle.


If you’re suffering from untreatable hair loss, LUXE Smp offers a free consultation to find out if scalp micropigmentation is for you.

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