Are You Losing Your Hair?

by Webmd Men Staff
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Hair loss is a major problem. It can lower your self-confidence and make you feel like you’re less attractive. Most of the time, male pattern baldness is to blame for hair loss. This type of balding happens over a period of time. Hair loss is not always a permanent problem and can be fixed. If you are losing large chunks of hair at a time, it is usually the cause of a few other things than male pattern baldness, so it can be fixed. The only issue is, when hair loss can be fixed, it usually means there is some sort of medical problem behind it. Most of the time, these are fixable issues and are not life threatening, but you should be aware so that you can seek treatment. Here are a few reasons why you might be balding.

Thyroid Levels May Be Off

Hair loss is a good indication that your thyroid may be having problems. One of the jobs of your thyroid is to regulate hair quality and hair growth. Hair loss can happen with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism (hyper-high thyroid activity, hypo-low thyroid activity.) If your hair loss comes from thyroid hormone issues, you will notice hair loss all over. This means that you will not only be losing hair in one place on your head, and you may even notice that you are losing body hair as well.

You will be able to find out if you are having thyroid problems through blood tests. If you are having thyroid issues, an endocrinologist and a dermatologist can come up with a joint plan to help you. Your endocrinologist will be able to help get your thyroid levels to normal. Your dermatologist will be able to stop your hair loss. Once your thyroid levels are back to normal, your hair loss should stop.

Extreme Illness or Stress

If your hair is coming out easily when you comb it, this could be from stress. The hair loss will be all over your head, not just in one area. man staring at comb If it is only in one area, it is probably male pattern baldness. Your hair follicles can go into a hibernation stage. This is normal as all of your hair follicles go through different phases. They go through growth phases, and then a resting phase, where it is very easy to lose hair. Severe stress, on your body or your emotions, can trigger this resting phase.

It is not super clear why your hair goes into a resting phase after severe stress or illness, but it is probably because of the stress hormones that are released during these times. It can take 3 to 6 months after the event for your hair to go into this hibernation mode. It can also take that amount of time for the hibernation phase to reverse. Usually, this happens on its own.

It May be an Infection

If your hair loss involves circles, and not thinning back of the head circles, you may have an infection. One very common, and recurring, infection is ringworm, aka athlete’s foot. If you do have ringworm, it is a very common fungal infection between athletes. It can be contracted from sharing things with someone who already has it.

You could share a towel, bedding, or even use a piece of equipment after someone has without properly sanitizing. It is very contagious. This can cause flaking and redness, and can have pus filled bumps. This is almost always in a circular patch, hence the name “ring” worm. This can be treated with an antifungal medication, but you will need to be diagnosed by a doctor because the regular, run of the mill, antifungal creams may not work, so you will need a prescription cream. Once this infection is gone, you should begin to grow hair back in this area.

Inflammation on Your Scalp

When it comes to inflammation of your scalp and hair loss, it is usually caused by psoriasis. This is a condition that causes red and scaly plaques on your skin. It could also be caused by seborrheic dermatitis. If you are experiencing hair loss from this, you will notice that your scalp has red patches and is covered with greasy-looking yellow or white scales. You will also have dandruff and general hair loss. You can remedy this with dandruff shampoo, but if it continues for more than a month, you will need to visit your dermatologist.

Certain Supplements or Medications

middle aged man looking at thinning hairThis is something that truly depends on the individual, so these are just some suggestions of what could be causing hair loss. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any medications. Hair loss can be caused by various medications including, steroids, isotretinoin, and antidepressants. One of the most common medications that causes hair loss is blood pressure medication. Most of the time, you need to stop taking these medications, or switch brands, to be able to stop hair loss. Do not take hair loss supplements without talking to your doctor. These medications contain high levels of daily vitamins and nutrients. If you are already getting enough of these daily vitamins and nutrients, adding more will only lead to more hair loss.

Did You Switch to a Vegan Diet?

Switching to a vegan diet can cause hair loss. When you switch diets, you generally get less of the vitamins and minerals that your body is used to. Vegan diets are especially lacking in iron, and if you are experiencing hair loss, it is probably from this. If you have an iron deficiency, your body compensates by taking away from other parts of your body like your hair. Basically, your body uses oxygen and nutrients that would normally go to your hair to compensate for your iron deficiency. Talk to your doctor, and once your iron levels are restored, your hair should begin growing normally again.

There are many reasons that you could be experiencing hair loss. Make sure to talk to your doctor before you make any changes to your lifestyle.


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