Hair Loss Essay

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Alopecia Introduction: Alopecia is the loss of hair. Hair loss can be caused by different reasons, including damage to the hair shaft or follicles. Fungal infections can also cause hair loss. There are two main types of alopecia. Alopecia areata occurs when the body' s immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair to fall out. Androgenetic alopecia, on the other hand, is an inherited form of hair loss. With alopecia areata, hair can fall out in patches all over the body. With androgenetic alopecia, hair on the head thins and falls out. In men, this is called male pattern hair loss; in women, it is called female diffuse hair loss. About 60% of people with androgenetic alopecia are men. Hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia is permanent. Signs and Symptoms: Symptoms of alopecia may include: * Male pattern hair loss: Thinning or complete loss of hair at the hairline and top of the head. * Female diffuse hair loss: A gradual thinning of hair, especially on the top of the head. The hairline usually stays the same. * Alopecia areata: Broken hairs, or hairs easily removed; one or more round or oval bald patches. What Causes It?: Causes may include: * Aging * Genetics * Illness * Some medications (such as chemotherapy) * Malnutrition * Autoimmune disorder (alopecia areata) What to Expect at Your Provider's Office: Usually your doctor can diagnose androgenetic alopecia by examining you and taking a medical history. If your doctor suspects alopecia areata, the doctor may order a fluorescent antinuclear antibody (FNA) test, which detects the presence of antibodies. If antibodies are present, it is a sign of an autoimmune disorder. Treatment Options: Treatment depends on the type of alopecia you have. With many temporary forms of alopecia, hair will grow back without treatment. For people with alopecia areata, medications

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