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Alopecia – hair loss

Hair loss is an aesthetic problem that causes people feeling a lot of stress, discomfort and frustration. This is not unusual – in our daily contacts, the first thing we notice is beautiful and well-groomed hair, a smile and a face.

Although men's hair loss is a bit more common, women often suffer from this problem. However, female and male baldness types can vary in hair loss areas, intensity and age at which this process begins.

The modern methods of aesthetic medicine we do at Bagatin Clinic can help combat hair loss in women and men, and restore confidence and satisfaction in people affected by this problem.

Partial or complete hair loss is called alopecia. This condition can be caused by hereditary factors, autoimmune diseases, hormonal disorders and stress.

 

What is alopecia?

Hair loss is a normal part of the hair life cycle. Each hair goes through three phases – growth, dormancy and falling out. After falling out of the follicles, a new hair immediately grows and the hair is continuously renewed. All of us will notice hair loss when washing or combing. Losing 70 – 100 hairs a day is totally fine – as long as new hair grows at a healthy pace.  

alopecia

But, if the loss becomes more visible and we notice thinning of the hair or the entire region without hair on the scalp, it is obvious that some disorder has occurred. In this case, it is necessary to seek the help of a dermatologist as soon as possible.

 

A dermatologist at Bagatin Clinic will diagnose the cause of your hair loss, teach you how to prevent it further and assist hair recovery with selected treatments, and answers our patients' most common question – is there a cure for hair loss.

After examining and diagnosing the causes of hair loss, we can offer you several treatments, including the most up-to-date FUE method of hair transplantation, which restores lost hair with great success.

 

Alopecia types

We know a variety of alopecia types, the most common of which are androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata.

 

Androgenic alopecia

This type of alopecia most commonly affects men. It happens due to the negative effect of male hormones on the hair follicle. Since women also have male hormones, it also occurs in women, especially during hormonal changes (postpartum, menopause, etc.).

Thus, the hormone testosterone affects both male and female hair equally, which depends on the genetic predisposition of the follicles, i.e. how sensitive it is to the hormone.

 

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata creates single or multiple oval foci, most commonly on the scalp or in other parts of the body. Heavier forms can lead to complete baldness.

 

Telogenic effluvium

This form of hair loss cuts thins the hair over the entire scalp and leads to baldness. For the most part, it is a sudden and complete hair loss. This condition causes the hair to enter the dormancy phase (telogen phase) prematurely and then falls out, so that it cannot be restored. It occurs due to the lack of nutrients, taking some types of medication, hormonal changes or exposure to high level of stress. It can especially happen if a woman suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome, postpartum, and menopause when estrogen levels drop.  

 

Universal alopecia (Alopecia universalis)

People affected by this type of alopecia lose all their body hair. In addition to aesthetic problems, hair loss in the nose and eyes is also a health risk because they have the function of protecting the mucous membranes from external influences.

 

Total alopecia (Alopecia totalis)

With this type of alopecia, there is a total hair loss, but the body hair remains preserved. Alopecia totalis occurs in two forms – as a sudden hair loss or as a gradual condition that begins with a partial hair loss (as Alopecia areata) and eventually leads to complete hair loss.

 

Ophiasis

This is a variant of alopecia areata in which there is wavy hair loss around the entire head.

 

Alopecia due to hair pulling

If the hair gets very tight in ponytails, braids or other types of hairstyles, damage to the hair follicles and roots can occur, which can lead to hair loss over time. A subtype of this alopecia is Chignon alopecia – hair loss at the top of the head due to the tightness of the hair in a tight bun. This kind of hair loss sometimes affects ballerinas, who regularly wear very tight buns.

 

Trichotillomania

This is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder in which a person pulls out their hair, which usually leaves individual foci without hair.

 

Folliculitis

Folliculitis is a bacterial infection that causes follicular irritation, leading to sensitivity and hair loss.

 

Causes of alopecia

Hair loss occurs in women and men, creating an equal level of stress, frustration and discomfort. However, hair loss has strong gender characteristics, so we notice differences in baldness type and causes in men and women. While men may sometimes accept hair loss as part of their masculine identity, in women, hair loss has a very negative effect on self-esteem and satisfaction.

 

Men usually lose their hair due to androgenic alopecia, with initial thinning of the hair on the flaps and scalp, which can gradually lead to hair loss across the entire scalp, except at the nape of the neck and behind the temples. According to some statistics, up to 80% of men are affected by hair loss. 

 

In women, hair is thinned on the scalp due to hormonal changes, illness, stress or exposure to environmental toxins. About 30% of women are thought to suffer from hair loss.

 

Androgenic alopecia comprises 90% of all alopecia types. It occurs under the influence of androgen, a male sex hormone such as dihydrotestosterone. Although more common in men, this alopecia occurs in women.  

Androgens shorten the anagen phase – the hair growth phase, and under the influence of testosterone, hairs fall out faster and more often, which ultimately leads to hair loss and baldness.

In men, alopecia can cover the entire scalp and lead to complete baldness, or it can spare parts of the hair, usually at the nape of the neck and behind the temples. More than 90 % of men at age 60, suffers from some type of androgenic alopecia.

In women, hair is usually thinned to the scalp.

 

Alopecia areata is the second most common form of baldness. It is recognized by focal hair loss from the scalp or other parts of the body, and is equally common in men and women.  

Although the cause of this type of alopecia is not fully known, it appears to be a disorder in the immune system that causes the cells of the immune system to attack the follicles and, thus cause excessive and rapid loss of hair.

It is often a condition that occurs after a period of exposure to high stress. It has also been observed to occur more frequently if a person has elevated thyroid antibodies.

Fortunately, in many cases alopecia areata is a temporary condition, so hair will regrow in 90 % of cases, and in 50 % of cases it will happen within a year.

 

Treatment of alopecia

Androgenic alopecia can be treated with medications (minoxidil, finasteride, antiandrogens or estrogens), but given that these drugs are potentially toxic, the decision to take them must be made by a specialist dermatologist.

The main treatment for alopecia areata is usually corticosteroids, which can sometimes stop the progression of alopecia and help preserve hair.

The best, and often the only solution to alopecia hair loss is hair transplantation by the FUE method.

 

The FUE hair transplant method is the most up-to-date and most effective way to make up for lost hair. It is done with minimal intervention with special needles, without cuts, sutures and scars, and the results is a natural hair appearance that patients are extremely pleased with. From the donor region – where there is more hair – the surgeon pulls out individual follicles and grafts it to the area where the hair is missing.

Because the procedure is minimally invasive, recovery is rapid – as early as a week after transplantation, all traces of the transplant are gone and patients can return to their regular activities.

In addition to transplantation, experts recommend mesotherapy and stem cell therapy as excellent methods for combating alopecia. These treatments deeply nourish and recover the hair follicles and all cells of the scalp, helping to preserve and regrow hair.

 

Mesotherapy is a non-surgical and minimally invasive method of aesthetic dermatology that restores the scalp, promotes hair growth and strengthens the hair. It is a cocktail of vitamins, minerals, hyaluronic acid and other active substances that are injected with thin needles directly into the scalp. This method has been used for over sixty years with great success of restoring hair, but also rejuvenating facial and body skin.

 

Thinning hair therapy with one's own blood stem cells is an innovative method that encourages the renewal of the scalp by injecting its own blood plasma. Platelets, bio-active substances and growth factors that are naturally found in blood plasma help to regenerate the hair all other tissues very well.

 

Sometimes just one of the methods is sufficient in the fight against alopecia, and sometimes the doctor may recommend a combination of treatments to stop the progression of hair loss, that is, to restore lost hair with quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Androgenic alopecia occurs under the influence of androgen, a male sex hormone (e.g. dihydrotestosterone). It is more common in men but also occurs in women due to a decrease of estrogen levels, such as during postpartum, menopause or polycystic ovary syndrome.

The causes of alopecia areata have not yet been fully investigated, but it is believed to be a kind of immune disorder that causes immune cells to attack the follicles.

Alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia are believed to have a genetic background, while other alopecia types are a combination of environmental factors, diseases, drug use, infections, or mechanical causes (hair pulling with tight hairstyles or trichotillomania, psychiatric disorder).

Alopecia can start abruptly and rapidly progress or developed slowly, for months or even years. Men typically start losing their hair at a younger age, while in women, hair loss is usually associated with middle age.

Androgenic, alopecia areata, telogenic effluvium, universal alopecia, total alopecia, ophiasis, alopecia due to hair pulling, trichotillomania, folliculitis.

Some types of alopecia, primarily androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata, have a hereditary basis and occur as a result of the interaction of genetic and environmental factors.

The best solution for hair loss due to alopecia is in most cases hair transplantation by the FUE method.

In addition to transplantation, experts recommend using mesotherapy and stem cell therapy. These treatments deeply nourish and recover the hair follicles and all cells of the scalp, helping to preserve and regrow hair.

Androgenic alopecia can be treated with medications (minoxidil, finasteride, antiandrogens or estrogens), but given that these drugs are potentially toxic, the decision to take them must be made by a specialist dermatologist. It is important to note that at Bagatin Clinic, these medicines are available in the form of sprays or gels for topical application, which also provides an equally effective hair growth stimulant without the side effects that may occur when taken as tablets. Topical application of these sprays and gels is recommended after a hair transplant at least one year after the transplantation is done, along with the hair thinning therapy with won blood treatment, to further promote hair growth and surgery success. The main treatments for alopecia areata are usually corticosteroids, which can sometimes stop the alopecia progression and help preserve hair.

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