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What Causes Hair Loss?

There are many causes of hair loss.  The most common cause, for both women and men, is something called androgenetic alopecia.  This is the type of hair loss that many people refer to as "male pattern" or "female pattern" hair loss.  It can happen anytime, as a result of the hair follicles responding to changing hormone levels.  Androgenetic alopecic can be genetic and should be treated as soon as it is noticed, since its more difficult to bring back hair once it has already thinned past a normal level. Other causes of hair loss include: Telogen effluvium: This is actually not a true hair loss, but a hair shedding, that occurs after a major stressor.  The stressor can be illness, new medicine, change in diet, changing jobs, family loss, etc.  Shortly after the stressor, more hairs shift into the shedding cycle, so it seems like a large amount of hair is being lost.  This type of hair loss can often self-correct itself a few months after it begins. Scarring alopecia: Scarring alopecias are a group of diseases that lead to scalp changes and cause hair loss.  These conditions must be diagnosed early, in order to properly treat them before too much hair is permanently lost.  A scalp biopsy (taking a tiny sample of the skin) is often helpful in determining what type of scarring alopecia is present. Alopecia areata: This is a unique type of hair loss in which the body's own immune cells attack the hair follicles.  This autoimmune response leads to patches of little hair growth.  This condition can sometimes be temporary, but often responds well to in-office treatments such as cortisone injections. Click here to learn more about what causes hair loss.
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Schweiger Dermatology

110 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022

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