• When to See Your Dermatologist about Hair Loss in Women

    It’s normal to lose about 50 to 100 hairs every day, which you are most likely to notice while washing or brushing your hair. However, if you start to notice thinning areas or bald spots, you may be experiencing hair loss, also called alopecia 

    While anyone with this condition can feel self-conscious, hair loss is particularly upsetting for women. Fortunately, most causes of hair loss—from heredity to stress to hormonal changes after giving birth—can be treated and reversed. Here’s more information about hair loss in women to give you an idea of when to see your dermatologist. 

    Types of Hair Loss in Women 

    Alopecia may take on several different forms, including gradual thinning, bald spots, receding hairline, or complete baldness. Here are the most common types of hair loss seen in women, along with their most likely causes: 

    • Androgenetic alopecia, or male/female pattern baldness: In women, this form of hair loss manifests as thinning on the crown of the head. It’s the same condition that causes a receding hairline in men. Heredity plays a major role in male and female pattern baldness. 
    • Telogen effluvium: People may experience this type of hair loss after undergoing something traumatic, such as a severe infection, childbirth, major surgery, or extreme stress. Hair may begin shedding in excessive amounts six weeks to three months after the traumatic event. In acute cases, the hair should grow back on its own after the event passes. However, some women experience chronic telogen effluvium with no apparent trigger. 
    • Alopecia areata: This is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own hair follicles. People with alopecia areata are often in excellent health aside from small bald patches that form across the scalp. These bald spots are also often associated with an itchy scalp. In most cases, the hair grows back within one to two years; treatment simply speeds up the process. 
    • Anagen effluvium: This form of hair loss is associated with chemotherapy. Since this treatment attacks rapidly dividing cancer cells, other rapidly dividing cells, such as hair follicles, become collateral damage. 
    • Traction alopecia: Tight hairstyles—including cornrows, braids, tight ponytails, and hair extensions—can traumatize hair follicles and cause them to stop growing. Spotting the condition soon enough and altering your hairstyle may allow you to reverse traction alopecia without treatment. 

    When to See Your Dermatologist 

    If you feel self-conscious about your hair loss, don’t hesitate to visit a dermatologist. All types of hair loss are treated differently, so we recommend speaking with a professional to ensure you pursue the proper treatment.  

    Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology in Salt Lake City diagnoses and treats all types of hair loss. After an evaluation and possible biopsyyou can expect an accurate diagnosis for your form of alopecia. This is the first step toward treating and reversing your condition. 

    To schedule a hair loss consultation in Salt Lake City, please call us at 801-682-4715 today. 

  • Understanding Alopecia

    Have you noticed more hair left behind on your pillow or in your hairbrush? If so, then you may be suffering from a hair loss disorder and more specifically, alopecia. If your dermatologist has diagnosed you with this common condition, then continue reading to gain a better understanding of alopecia.

    Cause

    The word alopecia means “hair loss,” and alopecia areata (alopecia) causes bald spots and is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system attacks its own body. Hair grows everywhere on your skin except for the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands. These hairs can be very fine and nearly invisible, and they are made up of keratin, which is a protein that’s produced in the skin’s hair follicles. In someone with alopecia, the immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes hair to fall out in quarter-sized, round areas.

    Risk Factors

    Having another autoimmune condition, such as eczema, vitiligo, or thyroid disease, may increase your risk for alopecia . Also, there appears to be a link between stress in one’s life and the onset of alopecia, so your dermatologist may advise that you learn stress management techniques and avoid activities or situations that cause you anxiety to help speed your recovery.

    Treatment

    Although alopecia is not a curable condition, it can be treated and your hair can grow back—and many people experience regrowth of their hair within a year. There are several treatment options that your dermatologist may recommend. Corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory medications, can be injected into the affected area, rubbed on as an ointment, or taken in pill form. For patients with more significant hair loss, topical immunotherapy can be a good option. Finally, your skin doctor may advise you to take minoxidil (Rogaine) or other medications used to treat immune diseases.

    Do you suffer from alopecia and need a trusted dermatologist in Salt Lake City for hair loss treatment? If so, then please contact Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology at (801) 266-8841 to schedule your appointment.