The word “alopecia” is the medical term for hair loss. Alopecia does not refer to one specific hair loss disease — any form of hair loss is alopecia. Mistakenly thought to be a strictly male disease, women actually make up forty percent of American hair loss sufferers.
Hair Loss Happens and is a common concern at any age. Most hair shedding is due to the normal hair cycle, and losing 50-100 hairs per day is no cause for alarm. People who notice their hair shedding in large amounts after combing or brushing, or whose hair becomes thinner or falls out, should consult a dermatologist.
“I have been treating patients with hair loss for 20 years,” says Dr. Mitchell “and it can be caused by many factors from genetics to the environment.” While androgenetic or hereditary hair loss (male or female pattern baldness) is by far the most common form of alopecia, dermatologists also see many people with other forms of hair loss such as alopecia areata, ringworm, scarring alopecia, and hair loss due to cosmetic over processing. Drugs used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure and birth control can cause hair loss.
Did you know that you are born with all the hair follicles you will ever make in your lifetime?
Interestingly, by week 22, a developing fetus has all of its hair follicles formed and we do not generate new hair follicles anytime during the course of our lives. There are a total of one million follicles on the head, with one hundred thousand of those follicles residing on the scalp. We are naturally going to lose follicles as we age; therefore, we need to protect them by avoiding over processing and tightly pulled hairstyles.
Did you know that at any given time, a random number of hairs are in one of three stages of growth and shedding?
At any point, ninety percent of our hairs are in the growth phase, which can last 3-6 years. The other ten percent are in the shedding phase. Some people have difficulty growing their hair beyond a certain length because they have a short active phase of growth-likely 3 years or less. On the other hand, people with very long hair have a long active phase of growth-likely 3 years or longer.
How do dermatologist diagnose and treat hair loss?
Most insurance companies will cover an initial appointment for the evaluation of your hair loss. Because so many things can cause hair loss, a dermatologist acts like a detective. When evaluating your hair loss, some of the questions Dr. Mitchell may ask you about include your diet, allergies, medications, hormone changes, family history of hair loss, recent illness, and hair care habits. In some cases blood tests or a scalp biopsy may be required for an accurate diagnosis.
It’s important to find the cause of hair thinning as soon as possible for early and effective intervention.
Dr. Mitchell may recommend nutritional supplements, Minoxidil–over the counter–Rogaine with or without prescription creams and/or pills, steroid injections or the newest technology-Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections-to help stimulate hair growth and counteract hair loss.
PRP & HAIR LOSS
Dr. Mitchell is excited about offering PRP injections to her patients and the results they are getting from these treatments. PRP is a promising new hair loss treatment for women and men to regrow and thicken hair without surgery. “PRP works by injecting platelets from my patient’s own blood directly into the scalp,” says Dr. Mitchell. “These platelets contain growth factors that stimulate regrowth and thickening of hair follicles.” The primary purpose of using PRP in hair restoration is to stimulate inactive or newly implanted hair follicles into an active growth phase.
If there is no scarring of the hair follicles, patients can see results as early as a few weeks after the treatment. This procedure is safe and ideal for patients who are experiencing any hair loss from localized thinning in the temples to diffuse or generalized hair loss. PRP therapy can be combined with Minoxidil, prescription topical and oral medication and steroid injections. It is not recommended for people who have a history of heavy smoking, platelet dysfunction or chronic infections or diseases.
Join Dr. Mitchell and her staff at their Hair Loss Event (click here) to learn more about the causes and treatments of this common condition or visit our website www.mitchellderm.com for more information about PRP injections.
Call Mitchell Dermatology today 419-872-HOPE (4673) to schedule your consultation.