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Hair loss

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 00:00

Scarring and non scarring forms of hair loss (alopecia)

Today there are numerous effective treatments for hair loss. One may choose local applications, oral therapies, vitamin supplementation, dietary changes and even local injections in the area (e.g. steroids, PRP).

The most important however is to have a proper evaluation of the problem with a clinical examination and possibly blood tests, since the first distinction that needs to be made is between a scarring and a non scarring alopecia.

In scarring alopecias (e.g. follicular lichen), the roots of the hair are destroyed irreversibly and it is crucial to have the correct diagnosis right from the start, so as to follow the correct treatment regime before hair follicles are replaced by scar tissue. In some occasions this means getting a skin biopsy.

Non scarring alopecias include alopecia areata that usually has good prognosis with the correct treament and of course male pattern baldness, which is a multifactorial degenerative condition.

In male pattern hair loss the goal of a conservative therapy is essentially to delay the onset and establishment of baldness. Patient compliance is crucial since with correct and presistent therapy the results can be impressive, if there is no undue delay in commencing therapy. Unfortunately however, there is no treatment regime that is quick and lasts forever!

Surgical solutions such as hair transplantations can have truly great results, but a maintenance regime for the non transplanted hair is still required, otherwise a possible second procedure may be required in the future.

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