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Hair loss (Alopecia)

The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. Shedding some hair each day is normal. Though, few people may experience excessive hair loss. Each day approximately between 70 and 150 hairs are regularly lost from the scalp. There are several different types of hair fall.

Causes of Hair fall

There are a few factors which are responsible for hair loss some of them are as follows:

  • Hereditary
  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and birth control pill usage
  • Chemotherapy
  • Excessive shampooing and blow-drying
  • Dandruff
  • Drugs such as Isotretinoin, Anti malarials, Anti-thyroid drugs, drugs for treating gout, etc
  • Fungus Infection (Ringworm) of the Scalp
  • Low Serum Iron
  • Inadequate Protein in Diet
  • Skin disorder or certain disease conditions such as thyroid disorder, diabetes and vitiligo
  • Menopause

Symptoms and signs of Hair fall

Some of the symptoms of hair fall are as follows:

  • Hair loss is in small patches
  • Thinning of hair
  • Hair loss all over the entire body
  • Constant shedding of hair
  • Breakage of hair in huge amounts
  • Irregular fall of hair.
  • Receding hair line In males

Diagnosis of Hair fall

Diagnosis can be made by the pattern and rate of hair loss, the appearance of the hairs and accompanying symptoms.

To determine the cause there are certain tests which can be conducted. These include:

  • Pull test – Dozens of hairs are gently pulled to see how many come out. This helps in determining the stage of the shedding process and also helps in diagnosing or ruling out other hair disorders.
  • Skin scrapings - Samples are taken from the skin or from a few hairs plucked from the scalp which help in assessing whether any infection is causing hair loss.
  • Punch biopsy - Small section of skin's deeper layers are removed to determine the diagnosis.
  • Screening tests for related diseases.
  • Hair Shaft Evaluation
  • Blood tests.

Treatment of Hair fall

Hair loss treatments aid in promoting hair growth or hide hair loss. Some of the treatment for hair loss is as follows:-

  • Medication such as Minoxidil , Finasteride, etc
  • Surgery – (i)  Hair transplant techniques, like punch grafts, minigrafts, micrografts, slit or strip grafts, are available; (ii) Scalp reduction
  • Wigs and hairpieces can be used

Prevention of Hair fall

  • Mild shampoos and conditioner should be used twice a week.
  • Bend your head and message the scalp while washing the hair, this shall increase blood circulation to the scalp.
  • Consume diets rich in iron, zinc, vitamins and proteins. Take plenty of vegetables, fruits and diary products.
  • Consume approximately one liter of water daily.
  • Take adequate sleep.
  • Avoid coloring of hair.

Health Tips

Make a puree of 4 tomatoes. Soak some rice for 30 minutes and grind it coarsely. Add this to the pureed tomatoes. Apply this mixture all over the body and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Bathe with warm water; this is a good scrub recipe for oily skin.

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