Hair loss, clinically also known as alopecia, is a common disorder that may be temporary or permanent. It can affect the head or even the entire body.
In many cases, the condition is hereditary. It can also result from hormonal changes, a medical issue, or simply a part of the aging process. In the case of the latter, the condition is called balding.
You can do a few things to slow down or restore hair loss. Before you embark on any treatment, it’s best to know your symptoms and discuss the matter with your doctor.
Who Can Experience Alopecia?
Anyone can be affected by hair loss, but men are typically more prone to balding than women as part of the natural aging process. People who experience high-stress levels may notice signs of alopecia.
Those on medication for arthritis, heart problems, depression, high blood pressure, gout, and cancer may also be affected.
Hair Loss Symptoms
Alopecia can present in several ways, depending on the reason for it occurring. It can happen suddenly or over a longer period.
Tell-tale hair loss symptoms include:
You may notice the hair is getting thinner on the top of your head and in the hairline area. This is the most common form of alopecia, and it’s age-related.
Women may note their parting is becoming wider.
Some people notice they have bald patches or circles on their brows, beard, or scalp. Often, the area itches or becomes painful before hair loss occurs. This symptom is typically also age-related.
If the patches are accompanied by scaling, redness and itching, swelling, and oozing, the problem could be ringworm rather than balding.
Sometimes people experience the loosening of their follicles; that is, hair comes out in greater tufts when brushing, washing, or running fingers through it. This symptom is usually temporary and can result from stress or shock.
Body Hair Loss
Medical treatments like chemotherapy, which is used for cancer patients, can cause hair loss all over the body. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes, etc. The follicles normally grow back after treatment, but they may not grow as abundantly.
When to Consult Your Doctor
As you can see, hair loss symptoms are usually the result of stress, age, or illness. In older people, alopecia is to be expected as a normal part of aging.
You can ask your doctor for advice at any time. However, it is essential to do so if hair loss symptoms occur suddenly. Sudden onset may indicate an underlying medical concern.
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