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Baldness

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Baldness is a very common problem among both men and women and should be viewed as a typical part of aging. Unfortunately, most men find baldness as a sign of aging that stigmatizes them as less virile and less attractive than men with a full head of hair, and women find it socially unacceptable to suffer from thinning hair or balding patches.

BALDNESS SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

The term baldness refers to the excessive loss of hair from the scalp. Most people lose hair regularly, but are able to regrow their hair at a rate comparable to the rate which they are losing it. Anyone can be subjected to hair loss under the right circumstances, even children. Medications, chemotherapy, eating disorders, age, heredity, and other influential factors can determine whether the hair the is lost will regrow at a rate equally as fast, slower than, or not at all when compared to the rate of hair loss.

Symptoms of hair loss include clumps of hair left behind in a hair brush, a significant amount of hair in the drain of the shower or in the sink, clumps of hair left behind in the bed, and in rare cases, clumps of hair that can be pulled out by running the fingers through the hair.
Baldness
Image: Baldness


Sometimes hair loss occurs in an even pattern all over the head, or it may occur in an even pattern working from the front of the head and back toward the crown. Women tend to experience hair loss stemming from the part of the hair and outward while medically encouraged hair loss may fall out in round patches all over the head.

BALDNESS CAUSES

The vast amount of hair loss is caused by genetics. If a man’s father lost his hair before the age of 50, it is likely that the man will lose his hair before the age of 50 as well. For every parent that suffered from hair loss, the genetic chances of losing the hair increases by 60%. For every male ancestor who lost their hair, the chances increase ten fold. Disease and poor nutrition can also play a factor in hair loss, causing more women than men to lose their hair, and affecting teenagers as well. While most teenagers can remedy the problem with a dietary change, the older the patient becomes, the less likely a dietary change is enough to significantly decrease the hair loss.

Temporary hair loss can occur after a high fever, serious illness, or a surgical procedure. Rarely does this condition become permanent. Other forms of hair loss can be caused by diabetes, systemic diseases, medications including those which treat gout, depression, arthritis, high blood pressure and other heart problems can contribute or cause hair loss.

Infant tend to lose their hair in the early stages of life only regrow a new head of hair, although some women experience hair loss after childbirth. Some claim this is due to an influx in hormones and the body’ natural adjustment to intense changes. Scalp infections and chemically treating the hair can cause the hair to fall out, sometimes permanently.
Hair loss
Image: Hair loss

BALDNESS TREATMENT

It is not unusual for a significant change in the body to contribute to hair loss. Sometimes this loss is permanent and sometimes this loss is only temporary. A patient who is concerned about their sudden threat of baldness should inquire with a physician to try to determine the cause and whether there is a treatment option available.

In some causes, the balding which is occurring can be treated with a simple change, such as a change in medication or healthy changes to a patient’s diet. Some hair loss requires no treatment at all as it is only temporary and it will remedy itself.

Other cases require medication, although not all medication will work for all forms of baldness. Topical medications such as minoxidil and pill medications such as finasteride can help attempt to encourage the rate of hair regrowth. Anthranil can help patients with scalp conditions which are causing hair loss, such as infections and severe skin conditions.


Surgical procedures are considered a last resort for most physicians, although some physicians have made it a specialty and have been able to produce fabulous results. Surgical procedures involve taking hair from a place on the head where it is growing at a healthy rate and then transplanting it on the scalp where the hair needs to grow. This is considered an elective procedure, even for children, and is typically not covered by insurance.

Wigs and hairpieces can make losing hair a bit less painful, and some patients begin to really enjoy having the ability to change their look at will. Medical science has become enthralled with creating wigs that look and feel very natural and wig manufacturing has increased their standards to provide real hair for clients in need.

Coping with hair loss and baldness can be difficult in today’s society, where people are judged on their physical appearance. It is no longer necessary to have to face the world as a balding individual, as there are treatment options that can change the view of a balding patient.
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