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Hair Falling Out? Don’t Panic!

Hair loss can be extremely difficult to accept and deal with especially for women. However, if you understand the common causes of this condition you can take steps to prevent it or reduce its severity. Hair loss in women can be absolutely devastating for the sufferer’s self image and emotional well being.

Treatment of this type of hair loss includes immunomodulating therapies such as glucocorticoids, topical immunotherapy, or anthralin, or biologic-responce modifiers such as Minoxidil. The choice of treatment depends on the patient’s age, as well as the extent of hair loss. Milder cases often see a greater improvement with treatment than severe cases. In no case does treatment restore full hair in patients with 100% scalp or body hair loss.

Even more unfortunately, the medical community also treats the issue of women’s hair loss as if it were nonexistent. Since hair loss doesn’t appear to be life threatening, most physicians pay little attention to women’s complaints about hair loss and essentially tell their patients that “it’s no big deal” and that “you’ll just have to live with it.”

Stress and some illnesses such as anemia and infections, can also lead to hair loss. Stress can lead to an increase in hormones circulating through the blood stream and can also cause problems with the body systems responsible for hair growth. Infection can disrupt the normal operations of the body’s system and cause problems with normal hair growth and patterns.

The only proven treatment for female-pattern baldness is minoxidil. Most users see improvements, including a halt to the balding or slowing down of it, as well as thicker hair. Up to 25% of women experience hair regrowth. Other solutions include wigs, hair transplants (taking hair from the sides and back of the head) and plastic surgery (such as scalp reduction, where the bald area is removed and the bit with hair on is stretched forward).

Unfortunately many conventional doctors downplay hair loss as an inevitable part of aging for both sexes, treating it with topical products like Rogaine that enhance existing hair but offer no real solution to the causes of hair loss, and therefore no prevention of continued hair thinning. This leads many women — especially those in menopause — to think that there is nothing they can do to stop their hair loss.

Experts say our tresses usually grow at the rate of about one-half inch per month – with each hair having a growth phase of two to six years. At that point the hair “rests” for a period of time, then falls out – and the follicle from which it sprang soon starts growing a new strand. And so the cycle continues, usually well into our senior years.

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