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Hair Loss In Women

Hair Loss In Women



Every one of us loses hair every day.   We lose it during our shower, we lose it while we blow dry our hair or when we brush our hair and this loss is all normal.  Typically we lose an average of 50 to 100 hundred hairs per day and normally for each hair we lose, we grow a new one to replace it.  However, at times hair loss may be a sign of a more serious medical condition that needs to be evaluated by a dermatologist for possible treatment.  Here are some possible causes of hair loss in women and how to deal with them.

Alopecia

This is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the hair follicles.  This disease affects 4.7 million people in the U.S. and occurs equally between women and men.  The cause is not known for sure, but may be triggered by illness or stress.  The condition can occur in three in three different forms including alopecia areata, alopecia universalis and alopecia totalis.

Skin Conditions of the Scalp

Unhealthy scalp conditions that can lead to hair loss include psoriasis, fungal infections such as ringworm, and seborrheic dermatitis which is dandruff.   These conditions cause inflammation in the scalp which inhibits the growth of hair.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

This is a hormonal imbalance where the ovaries produce too many male hormones and if affects almost five million women in the U.S.  The condition can begin in girls as early as age 11 and can often cause infertility.

Anemia Caused by Iron Deficiency

This condition affects women who eat too few iron-rich foods or who have heavy periods.  Their blood produces too few red blood cells which are necessary to transport oxygen to the cells throughout the body and which provides the energy we need to survive.




Lupus

This condition is an autoimmune disease which is chronic appearing spontaneously as the body attacks its own healthy tissues with its own immune system.  The disease tends to first impact women in their twenties and thirties and affects approximately 1.5 million individuals.

Hypothyroidism

This is a type of thyroid disease which affects mostly women.  This disease is when there is too little thyroid hormone produced by the body.   The thyroid hormone is responsible for heart rate, mood and metabolism.  Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid is underactive or producing too little of the thyroid hormone.  When there is too much thyroid hormone produced, it is an overactive thyroid and is called hyperthyroidism.   The thyroid hormone is responsible for everything from the metabolic rate to the growth of your hair, nails and skin.

Hereditary Hair Loss

There is a genetic hair loss condition which is known are androgenetic alopecia and this is thought to be the most common cause of hair loss.  This gene is inherited from either the mother or the father although it is likely that you will have both if both parents have hair loss.

Telogen Effluvium

This is a condition that happens after pregnancy, extreme stress, drastic weight loss or major surgery.  With condition large amounts of hair are lost every day, typically when brushing, styling or shampooing.  This condition can also be a side effect of certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, beta-blockers, and antidepressants.

These conditions are more common than one might think, so if you’re noticing hair loss and it is more than normal, please see a doctor to see if there is something serious occurring.  Hair loss that is happening because of disease can often be treated, but it should be done under a doctor’s care.

Comments

  1. And of course it's a common side-effect to chemotherapy given for cancer. Here's a post I've just published where I first faced this possibility. It's a scary proposition for a woman. https://riseandsoar.com/chemotherapy-radiotherapy/

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