Hair loss can be an embarrassing issue for both men and women. Whether your hair is gradually thinning on the top of your head or falling out in patches, you’re likely looking for ways to cover it up. However, you might not have to. A dermatologist can accurately diagnose your hair loss and recommend treatment so you can feel confident again.
Many instances of hair loss are linked to genetics. If you have a family history of hair loss or balding, you may be more likely to experience these issues with age. Hair loss can also occur due to changes in hormones, particularly during pregnancy and menopause, and because of any thyroid issues. Stress may play a factor in hair loss as well.
Medical conditions and medications have been linked to certain types of hair loss. Alopecia areata, for example, is a common condition that causes hair loss in patches. Infections can have a similar effect. If you’re taking medications for conditions like depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure, hair loss could be a side effect. So, it’s important to talk to your doctor about any concerns. Hair loss is a common side effect for cancer drugs like chemotherapy, as well as cancer treatments like radiation to the head region.
If you’re losing hair, visiting a medical dermatology clinic is one of the best steps you can take. A dermatologist can assess your hair loss and pinpoint a specific diagnosis. They will then find an appropriate treatment if applicable.
During your appointment, the dermatologist will ask you questions about your hair loss and overall health. They’ll ask how long you’ve noticed the hair loss, whether you’re taking any medications, and if you have a family history of hair loss or baldness.
The doctor will also examine your nails and scalp, as the health of these areas might provide clues for diagnosis. The specific pattern of your hair loss can indicate a specific diagnosis as well. In some cases, they will perform a blood test and scalp biopsy to check for medical conditions that might cause hair to fall out.
Once your dermatologist diagnoses your hair loss, they will determine whether treatment could be effective. Treatments can either help hair regrow more quickly or slow future hair loss. Keep in mind that age-related or genetic hair loss may not be reversible.
Patients who have a medical condition causing hair loss, like a thyroid issue or infection, will need to treat that condition before addressing the hair loss. In some cases, your dermatologist will refer you to a specialist for treatment. If you have a medical condition like alopecia areata, the dermatologist may prescribe medications or recommend an over-the-counter treatment.
In-office procedures can also be effective for some patients. These treatments can include corticosteroid injections, laser therapy, and platelet-rich plasma therapy. You may require repeated treatments before seeing improvement in hair growth.
It’s also important to mention that your dermatologist may recommend lifestyle changes to prevent future hair loss. This may include changing your diet, as well as avoiding certain hairstyles and hair pieces.
Hair loss can be complicated, but the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend treatment. Located in Long Beach, CA and a number of other convenient locations, our medical dermatology professionals are committed to helping you look and feel your best. Contact us today to get started.