What is Alopecia, Types, Treatment For Alopecia

What is alopecia? basically partial or complete hair loss that occurs not only on the head, but also on the beard, eye brows and eyelashes. It can happen to anyone; male or woman anywhere between childhood to adulthood. However it is usually 70% of men and 40% of women who suffer from alopecia sometime in their lives.

what is alopecia

Alopecia is usually considered a man’s problem of balding and thinning of hair. The hair loss here is gradual, and affects the thinner, shorter and the less pigmented hair that is found in the frontal and parietal parts of the scalp. Usually, male pattern hair loss occurs because of genetic factors, and because of the prolonged effect of testosterone hormones on the central hair follicles.

Alopecia types

There are different types of alopecia, where the most common type is androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. Next in line is traction alopecia, which is usually found in women who use tight hairstyles like braiding. It is the direction of the braid or the hairstyle that decides the type of hair loss. 

However, it is most noticed at the tightest point of the hairstyle. In the case of alopecia areata, hair tends to fall out to leave small and smooth round patches on the back of the head. This is a hair disease that is cyclical where hair tends to repeatedly fall off, and then grow back as fine, baby like hair.

Advanced forms of alopecia universalis and totalis

In some cases, the hair may grow back normally in an irregular motion, sometimes with complete hair loss in different areas of the head. If this is left untreated, it can lead to complete hair loss in the scalp region. This form of complete hair loss is called alopecia totalis. 

There is an even further progression of this hair loss disease called alopecia universalis where there is total body hair loss. So far, no effective form of hair loss treatment has been found for alopecia universalis. The only option one has is to use non-surgical hair replacement options to lead a normal life.

Best Treatment for alopecia

what is alopecia

To treat any form of alopecia, the hair sample has to be first sampled and if the cause is established, it should be treated. Any bacterial or fungal infection the person may be suffering from, and any dandruff or lice present has to be treated. 

Alopecia areata is best treated with intralesional injections of hydrocortisone or triamcenalone or both. Usually, more than one cycle will be required in a span of 2-3 weeks.

Those suffering from male pattern alopecia could apply minoxidil, after consulting a dermatologist. Sometimes, dermatologists may also prescribe ‘finasteride’ in low doses. Sometimes hair transplantation in the form of punch grafting, follicle unit transplant and single hair transplant may be advised by the doctor. 

Those who are not medically fit for surgery may be advised non-surgical forms of hair restoration like wigs, hair weaving, hair bonding, hair clipping, switches, falls and demi wigs. Besides all this, it is important to take vitamin and zinc supplements to control hair loss, and to promote hair regeneration. Anemia too has to be treated promptly using iron supplements.

What is Alopecia, Types, Treatment For Alopecia