WHAT IS ALOPECIA?
Alopecia or hair loss is a common clinical complaint where the complaint may be of increased shedding of the hair, localized hair loss or diffuse hair loss. Some cases are typical such as alopecia areata (patchy hair loss) and male pattern hair loss but most of the time the diagnosis can be a challenge. It can be a chronic disorder and can be challenging to treat.
HOW DOES ALOPECIA OCCUR?
It can be caused by a myriad of disorders and clinical evaluation is usually needed. There are 3 main types of alopecia –
- Scarring alopecia -if not treated early, can result in irreversible damage to the hair follicle and permanent hair loss.
- Non-scarring alopecia – here the hair follicle is not damaged and hair regrowth is possible.
- Structural hair disorders – usually due to fragile hair which may be genetic. Also, damaging hair techniques can result in fragile hair and subsequent hair loss.
“WHY” IS THIS IMPORTANT FOR YOU?
Alopecia may have a profound impact on one’s psychological well-being. If you deal with hair loss, be sure to talk to your health care provider as there are different diagnostic approaches that can be used to evaluate the cause and subsequently guide treatment using different modalities currently available. A referral to a dermatologist may be needed.