Hair Loss: How Your Dermatologist Could Help

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If you’re noticing your hair is starting to thin at the top of your head, recede back, or that it’s falling out more frequently, you might be looking for ways to grow hair and improve its appearance. Thankfully, dermatologists are able to pinpoint and diagnose the cause of your hair loss and help you treat it.

Causes of Hair Loss

In many cases, hair loss is genetic. If your family has a history of hair loss, it’s more likely that you will experience it as you get older. Hair loss can also be a result of hormonal changes, lupus, traction, ringworm, thyroid issues, stress, or even Covid-19. In some instances, hair loss can be caused by a medical condition or certain types of medications. Alopecia areata is a specific autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall out in circular patches. If you take medication to treat conditions like cancer, depression, high blood pressure, or heart disease, hair loss could be a side effect. Many cancer patients also lose their hair from drugs and chemotherapy treatments.

Diagnosing Hair Loss

If you notice that you’re starting to lose hair, visiting a dermatologist is a great way to get some help. Dermatologists can analyze your situation and diagnose the cause of your hair loss. From there, they will help you find an appropriate hair loss treatment customized to your symptoms and needs.

During your visit, your dermatologist will ask questions about your overall health and the progression of your hair loss. They’ll need to know how long you’ve been noticing hair loss, if you’re taking any medications, and whether hair loss runs in your family. Once they’ve asked you some preliminary questions, they will perform an examination on your skin, nails, and scalp. How healthy these areas are may help lead them to a diagnosis since the nails and hair are all made from a protein called keratin. Your dermatologist may also look for patterns of hair loss and may perform a fungal culture, hair pull, scalp biopsy, and blood tests to determine if you have a medical condition that’s causing you to lose your hair.

Hair Loss Treatments

Once the cause of your hair loss has been diagnosed, a dermatologist will discuss options with you and offer you recommendations about the best treatments to help regrow your hair and/or prevent future hair loss. It’s important to understand that hair loss due to genetics or age may not be fixable.

Addressing Root Causes

If an underlying medical condition is causing your hair loss, you’ll need to take steps to treat that condition in order for this symptom to improve. Your dermatologist may also refer you to another doctor if this is the case. Your physicians will work together to address systemic diseases such as lupus, sarcoidosis, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian disease, or hyperandrogenism that may be contributing to hair loss.

The Latest Treatments

HMGS dermatologists are adept at treating all forms of hair loss and alopecia with the newest of medications. We routinely prescribe Olumiant (baricitinib) for alopecia areata. Low-dose oral minoxidil (LDOM), finasteride, dutasteride, and spironolactone can be considered for androgenic alopecia and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) for discoid lupus erythematosus and lichen planopilaris. Frontal fibrosing alopecia can be treated with steroid injections, finasteride, topical steroids, and antibiotics. Our physicians routinely treat central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA), a common scarring form of hair loss mainly seen in Black women. CCCA can be treated with steroid injections or an array of anti-inflammatory medications.

Lifestyle Changes

Your treatment options may even be as simple as lifestyle changes to help prevent hair loss in the future. Decreasing tension or discontinuing tight hairstyles can greatly improve traction alopecia. Make sure to avoid shampoos and hair products with harsh chemicals that could be causing additional damage to your hair and scalp.

Schedule a Consultation

Hair loss is a complex problem that you might not be able to fix yourself and it can cause embarrassment for many people. Schedule your consultation with the professionals at HMGS Dermatology so they can help diagnose and treat your hair loss with comprehensive and effective care.