Most people associate hair loss with balding men, but the loss of hair can occur anywhere on the body, and anyone can experience hair loss regardless of gender or age.
While hair thinning and loss is natural with age, some hair loss is a symptom of other conditions. If you have concerns about hair loss, talk with your primary care doctor about your options.
Heredity and Hair Loss
Hair loss is most often the result of a hereditary condition, typically referred to as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. In this genetic condition, certain hormones trigger patterns of hair loss. Sometimes those genetic conditions may have more harmful connections: a recent study tied a specific type of male pattern baldness to prostate cancer.
Changes in hormones and hormone imbalances can also contribute to hair loss. Pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause can all trigger temporary hair loss.
Hair Loss and Medical Conditions
Hair loss may also be an indicator of a medical condition. Health problems that can cause hair loss include:
- Thyroid conditions: The thyroid helps regulate hormone levels, and hair loss often occurs if the gland is impaired
- Scalp infections: Untreated ringworm and other infections can contribute to hair loss
- Alopecia areata: A disease in which the body’s immune system attacks follicles, which leads to smooth patches of hair loss
- Skin disorders: Lupus and other skin diseases can cause scars that result in permanent hair loss
Hair loss may also be associated with medications used to treat arthritis, cancer, depression and heart problems.
Hair Loss Risk Factors
Some factors that heighten your risk for premature hair loss include:
- Family history of hair loss
- Poor nutrition
- Excessive use of hair treatments including coloring products and straighteners
If you’re unsure about the cause of your hair loss, your doctor can help you determine the source and discuss your treatment options with you in detail.
If you live in the Littleton, Colorado, area and you’re seeking a knowledgeable and friendly primary care physician, please contact Dr. Andy Fine online or call 303-703-8583 today.