Hair is one of the commodities that many people wear with pride. On the other hand, hair is also one of the commonest sources of worry for people where looks are concerned.
Hair can be straight, or curly, thick or more thin, bouncy or limp. They come in so many types and colors. Given the new technology, you can have any type or color of hair.
Having healthy growth is what each of us would like. And yet a dermatologist is frequently visited by patients for their hair issues.
Hair problems can range from greying, dandruff, itching, scaling and hair loss to balding.
At Kiara Skin Clinic we can assist you in dealing with most of these problems.
Overview of Hair Problems
Hair goes through its own life cycle. You may have heard of the phases of hair growth. Each hair grows in the Anagen phase which lasts from 2 to 6 years. The Talogen phase is where the hair rest for about three months, after which it falls out. The average normal hair loss is about 100 hair per day. By average it means there will be days you will find your brush clean, and others where you will see clumps of hair tangled in it.
If the hair fall gets severe it is always a good idea to meet a dermatologist to identify the cause of it. It could be one of the following reasons:
- Some illness or infections
- Use of harsh chemicals
- Hormonal changes
- Use of some types of drugs
- Thyroid disorder
- Radiotherapy / chemotherapy
Once these reasons are taken away, the hair will grow back.
The following are usually abnormal hair fall disorders.
This is an autoimmune disorder whereby the hair follicles come under attack by the immune system. A lot of hair falls off and there are noticeable bald patches on the scalp. You may be losing hair on other parts of the body too.
Although alopecia has no known cure yet, it is possible to treat this and have hair grow.
An application or injection of corticosteroids has been known to lead to hair growth, although it takes long before any results show.
Topical immunotherapy, in which some lotions are applied to cause itchy rash or reactions that lead to hair growth, is also one of the many treatments.
There is also general medication to counter autoimmune disorders that can be prescribed. The results, however, may vary.
You may be required to change your lifestyle to cut down stress, which may be a big help in controlling hair loss.
Hair Loss patterns
Hair loss disorders that follow a genetic pattern are two types –
Male pattern hair loss results in a receding hairline at the top of the scalp, which remains as a horseshoe shape unless all the hair falls off.
Female pattern hair loss results in thinning of hair all over the scalp while the top of the scalp remains relatively well covered.
In the male and female patterns of hair fall, the biggest determinant is heredity.
While there is no cure, the treatment involves the use of minoxidil to control the hair fall and even regrowth as long as it is regularly used.
Now, dandruff, as against the common belief is not a hair problem as much as it is a skin problem – the skin on the scalp.
Dandruff is the white flaky stuff that sheds off the scalp when you are afflicted by the condition. They are caused by a build-up of cells growing and dying too fast.
Although it is not clearly known, dandruff is caused by a fungus which in turn causes the autoimmune system to fight it in form of a faster generation and a shorter life cycle of the cells in the affected area.
Stress, dryness, and sickness may worsen the case of dandruff but are not known to be the cause of it.
It is usually easy to treat your dandruff at home. There are multiple choices of anti-dandruff shampoos available in stores or at the chemists with different ingredients such as ketoconazole or salicylic acid. You may have to try a few till you find something that helps. Also, you may have to use the shampoo frequently, even daily, until dandruff gets better.
If you find no improvement even after trying multiple ingredients, you may consult our dermatologist. You may be prescribed some topical medication or a medicated shampoo.