Top 5 Medical Conditions Causing Balding

Written by Admin on March 19th, 2011

Androgenic Alopecia – this type of balding is also known as male pattern baldness, but it can occur in either men or women. Hormones called androgens, particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT), are the cause of androgenic alopecia. DHT causes hair follicles to shrink, producing thinner shorter hair and possibly stopping hair production completely. Women experiencing this condition tend to have hair that thins in a Christmas tree pattern at their part, but without much hair recession at the hairline. Women rarely become completely bald from androgenic alopecia. In men, the hair loss first appears at the temples, on the hairline, and at the crown. The hairline often recedes and the bald patch expands, sometimes until only a ring of hair is left around the level of the ears. The three most typical patterns of male balding are illustrated in the Norwood Scale, which is used to describe the stages of this form of hair loss.

Traction Alopecia – his is friction-based hair loss resulting from hairstyling such as weaves and tight braids. It can also occur when hair is over-processed with chemicals such as hair dyes and straighteners. Traction alopecia can be reversed if it is detected early. Signs of this type of hair loss often begin at the hairline and the temples, which take the most pressure from these hairstyles.

Alopecia Areata – Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own hair follicles and suppresses hair growth. Researchers suspect that a period of stress might combine with a genetic predisposition to create outbreaks of alopecia areata. The resulting bald patches are round and they may occur more on one side of the scalp than the other. Hair lost from this condition will re-grow on its own in 90% of cases.

Scarring Alopecia – scarring alopecia covers a group of disorders that cause hair loss. The conditions combined under this term create small bald patches with ragged edges. In these hair loss disorders, the hair follicles are replaced with scar tissue and the damage is often permanent.

Telogen Effluvium – this is the medical term for a sudden onset hair shedding. The shedding is extreme and is caused by hormones, stress, or medications. Patients usually recover without treatment within 6 months.