What is Balding, and How Can You Treat It?
Baldness is the absence of hair or hair loss, and it is also medically known as alopecia. Baldness can occur everywhere on the body where hair grows, but it is typically more evident on the scalp.
What Causes1 Baldness?
Numerous factors can cause hair loss. These are some of the most widespread contributing factors:
Alteration of hormones
Illness that causes telogen effluvium, or hair loss
Family baldness history
In general, hair loss will grow more severe the sooner it begins.
Other causes of Baldness
Areata Alopecia2: Sudden hair loss, usually in small patches, is what distinguishes this hair loss condition. After several months, the hair grows back. However, regrowth might not take place if all body hair is gone at once. This sort of hair loss has an unclear specific etiology. According to researchers, this particular sort of hair loss is attributed to an autoimmune disorder. Small patches of hair loss are the most common symptom of alopecia areata. Alopecia totalis is the medical term for total scalp baldness. Alopecia universalis is the medical term for complete body hair baldness.
Toxic Alopecia: A severe sickness or a high temperature might trigger toxic alopecia. It can also be brought on by several medications, including thallium, high vitamin A dosages, retinoids, and cancer treatments. Having a baby and certain medical disorders like thyroid disease can both cause toxic alopecia3.
Hair pulling, or trichotillomania4: Hair loss may result from hair tugging. Young children with this disease are not uncommon.
Cicatricial alopecia5 or scarring: Burns, injuries, or X-ray therapy can all leave scars behind. Diseases can, however, be the source of various types of scarring that may result in hair loss. These include skin cancer, sarcoidosis, lichen planus, lupus, and bacterial or fungal skin diseases.
What are the Symptoms of Baldness?
Depending on the type, baldness may have different indications and symptoms. There are characteristics of baldness for both men and women:
Male pattern baldness6 is often hereditary. At any age, the sickness can become apparent. Hair loss typically starts on the front, sides, or top of the head. Some men may have a bald spot or a receding hairline. Some people might go bald entirely.
Even though it is less common, female-pattern baldness7 varies from male-pattern baldness in that the hair usually thins all over the head. The hairline is maintained. Sometimes the first sign that women may detect is a widening of the part. Complete hair loss is a rare consequence of female-pattern baldness.
How is Baldness Diagnosed?
The kind of baldness or its etiology may be determined by a punch biopsy of the skin in addition to a medical history and physical examination. An extremely small core of tissue is removed during a punch biopsy. If an infection is suspected, a culture might be performed.
How is Baldness Treated?
Your healthcare professional will discuss the various treatments with you, and you will jointly determine which one is best for you. Most baldness types are incurable. Untreated baldness may go away in some cases. Treatment options include:
Hair-growth-promoting medications such as Regaine®
Skin grafting and lifting
Other Procedures that Aid in Hair Regrowth
Corticosteroid injections8: Your dermatologist administers this drug intravenously to your scalp's bald (or thinning) parts to aid in hair growth. You will need to go back to your dermatologist's clinic for treatment since these injections are typically administered every 4 to 8 weeks as needed.
Hair transplant: Your dermatologist may suggest a hair transplant as a treatment option if you have male (or female) pattern baldness and an area of your hair is thinning or balding. This may be a workable and long-lasting fix.
Laser therapy may be an alternative if using minoxidil daily or taking medication to address hair loss doesn’t appeal to you. Laser therapy, also known as low-level laser treatment, may help with inherited baldness, areata alopecia, and chemotherapy-related hair loss. Studies show that laser therapy is secure and painless, but several treatment sessions are necessary. You could require multiple weekly treatments for several months to notice a little hair growth9.
Moreover, your dermatologist can suggest taking a supplement if your blood test indicates that you aren't getting enough biotin, iron, or zinc. Your dermatologist can advise you on how to increase your consumption if you are not getting enough protein. If a blood test reveals a deficiency, you should only take biotin, iron, or zinc10. Taking a supplement can be dangerous if your levels are normal. For instance, iron poisoning can occur if you consume too much iron. Vomiting and stomach ache are some of the early symptoms of this.
Away from surgical procedures, medication, and supplements, you could also resort to wigs and hair concealers. There are numerous varieties of wigs out there, including ones that can be designed just for you. There are several items available if you're seeking a concealer, such as a spray or powder, that can cover up hair loss.
In conclusion, balding or hair loss can impact your self-esteem and cause distress. However, knowing that there are some treatment plans can help ease your tension and allow you to feel more comfortable with how you look.