Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. There are several patterns of natural and disease related hair loss. Hair loss may also be caused by several drugs and medications.
- The commonest type of hair loss is male-pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is typically caused by the effects of hormones. This is also termed androgenic or androgenetic alopecia as the cause lies in androgens of male sex hormones. There is a pattern of receding hairline along with thinning of hair over the crown.
- Female pattern baldness - there is thinning of hair over the top of the head.
- Alopecia areata - this is also termed patchy baldness as there are patches of baldness that come and go. This may commonly affect teenagers and young adults but may affect a person of any age. Alopecia areata is commonly caused due to a problem in the immune system. The condition may sometimes run in families.
- Scarring alopecia - this is mainly caused after a scar over the skin. This type of alopecia is called cicatricial alopecia. The hair follicles that hold the roots of the hair may be completely destroyed. This means that the hair would not grow back at the areas affected. Some diseases and disorders also cause scarring alopecia. These include lichen planus, injury, discoid lupus etc.
- Anagen effluvium is a more widespread hair loss that may affect the whole body apart from the scalp. This is caused most commonly due to cancer chemotherapy.
- Telogen effluvium - leads to thinning of hair all over the body rather than baldness in patches. This may be the result of stress of some medications.
You are more likely to have permanent hair loss if you:
- Have a family history of the condition.
- Have the condition at a young age (before puberty) or for longer than 1 year.
- Have another autoimmune disease.
- Are prone to allergies (atopy).
- Have extensive hair loss.
- Have abnormal color, shape, texture, or thickness of the fingernails or toenails.
- Because hair is an important part of appearance, hair loss can result in feeling unattractive.
If the reason for your hair loss is not clear, your doctor may do tests to check for a disease that could be causing your hair loss. Tests include:
- Hair analysis. Your doctor will take a sample of your hair and examine it under a microscope. A scalp sample is also sometimes taken.
- Blood tests, including testing for a specific condition, such as an overactive or underactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism).
The novel approach of suppressing the autoimmune response with local cortisone (steroid) may work temporarily and is limited to the patch only. Relapses are common and the course still remains unpredictable. It has no long-term advantages and does not alter the nature of the disease. On the other hand, homeopathy at bodhin, addresses the defective immune response, family history or genetic predisposition, nature and intensity of the disease as well as systemic, emotional and numerous other factors commonly affecting this condition. It does not consider Alopecia as an external disorder. On reasoning you will appreciate that this condition is an outward manifestation of internal disarray. Treating it locally will usually prove futile and temporary.
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