Speaking Online to a Doctor about Hair Loss
Many people are very conscious about their appearance and so losing their hair can be very stressful. This can occur for many reasons, can be a quick or very gradual process and can be temporary or permanent.
For those with less concern about their appearance, hair loss may not be a big deal. However, it should not be ignored because, even if hair loss is not considered important, it may be caused by something that is serious and needs attention.
The Causes and Effects of Hair Loss
A typical human scalp has around 100,000 hair follicles, which contain the cells that grow new hairs and then anchor them to the skin. Each follicle goes through three phases, starting with a growing phase that can last for two to six years. This is followed by a transition phase that lasts one to two weeks and finally, there’s a resting phase when the growing hair is held loosely in the follicle by a root for around four to five months.
Most people lose about 100 mature hairs every day. Problems occur if greater numbers are lost and if those hairs aren’t replaced by new follicles during the normal cycle. When this occurs, thinning hair and bald patches will result, which is when something may need to be done.
Hair loss occurs for different reasons and is of different types that include:
- Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss in men, affecting around half by the age of fifty and being known as male pattern baldness. It starts with a receding hairline, develops into a bald patch at the crown and eventually can result in all hair being lost from the top of the head. It can also affect women, causing thinning hair.
- Alopecia areata results in hair falling out in patches and is caused by an immune system disorder that leads to inflammation of the hair bulbs.
- Scarring alopecia results from burns or skin conditions that destroy hair follicles.
- Fungal infections such as ringworm are most common in young children and cause patchy hair loss.
- Telogen effluvium follows an illness or traumatic event and causes temporary hair loss. It can also be caused by certain medications and regrowth will start when the medication ends or there is recovery from the illness.
- Anagen effluvium is often caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy and causes widespread hair loss, although regrowth occurs when the treatment stops.
Some types of hair loss will be corrected naturally and regrowth will occur when the cause of the loss comes to an end. For other cases, a consultation and proper diagnosis are necessary, which may identify underlying causes.
Treatments vary and may include medication, a change to existing medication or creams. In some cases, cosmetic or surgical treatments may be the only solution.
An online consultation with an Instant Consult doctor is the modern and effective alternative to a visit to your regular GP. We will thoroughly assess the problem and propose the best solution. This may be a prescribed medication, a change to an existing prescription or possibly a referral to a specialist. Whatever the course of action, it will improve the quality of your hair and your health generally.
by Instant Consult