Written by Sarah Minarick, PA-C
Hair loss is a very common and distressing problem among men and women. Since I get so many questions regarding this topic, I would like to shine some light on this area of dermatology!
There are many causes for hair loss and many associated diagnoses. I always take a thorough history to try to sort out all of the possible contributing factors. That being said, I would like to focus on the big three: Androgenetic Alopecia (female or male pattern hair loss), Telogen Effluvium, and Alopecia Areata.
Androgentic Alopecia: this type of hair loss is typically secondary to aging and has a strong genetic predisposition associated with it. It typically affects the superior aspect of the scalp (along the part line). 40% of women by the age of 50 show signs of female-pattern loss.
Telogen Effluvium: a reversible type of hair loss that presents as diffuse thinning. It’s usually associated with stress, changes in hormones, surgeries, changes in weight, and basically anything that has caused stress or trauma to the body. I have personally experienced this after surgery and I will admit it was frightening! The good news is that it typically resolves within 6 months.
Alopecia Areata: this type of hair loss is auto-immune related and typically has a sudden onset of 1 or more circular small bald spots anywhere on the scalp. It can affect hair in other locations (eyelashes, etc). Unfortunately, alopecia areata is unpredictable, but in some cases, hair regrowth may occur even without treatment.
As you can see, hair loss can be complicated! The good news is that there are things that we can recommend to help with hair regrowth. We will typically look through your medication list to make sure no medications are contributing, check laboratory studies, and suggest a treatment regimen that will be helpful. So, before you “lose it,” call 402-484-9009 and schedule an evaluation and let us help!