Androgenic Alopecia- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition

Androgenic alopecia is also called Androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. This is happen due to genetics and hormonal changes in the body.

In some types of alopecia, the growth cycle is disrupted by some temporary situation such as a chemical imbalance or stress.

Although hereditary baldness is not as common among women, but is found that 20 million American women and 30% of all Caucasian women are affected by female pattern baldness.

Causes

The most common cause of hair loss in androgenetic alopecia is due to male pattern baldness (in men), and female pattern baldness (in woman). It is caused by the effects of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on genetically susceptible scalp hair follicles.

In addition to the genetic causes and the presence of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), other factors may cause hair loss in women. Female hair loss is caused by the constant use of ponytails or buns; and at the beginning or end of a course of birth-control pills.

With alopecia areata, or patchy hair loss, the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, which grow smaller and don’t produce as much hair. The condition may have a genetic factor, and often tends to occur in times of stress.

Symptoms

  • In men, hair loss occurs on the front hairline and forehead and on the top of the head.
  • In women, hair loss occurs as thinning of hair throughout the entire scalp, including the top and sides.
    • Hair loss
    • Pruritus
    • Scaling of the scalp
    • Broken hairs
    • Tapered hair at the borders of the patch of alopecia
    • Easily removable hairs at the periphery of the patch of alopecia
    • Inflammation

Treatment

Unlike in men, where areas of skin may become completely devoid of hair, Female Pattern Thinning, most often involves diffuse thinning and production of thinner hair fibers. There is less destruction of the hair follicles in specific regions of the skin. Natural treatments are always the best, as hormone replacement therapy, which is sometimes touted as an option for hair re-growth, generally has side effects.

The doctors may first suggest that the patient with androgenetic alopecia attempt regrowth with nonprescription minoxidil.

Women with diffuse androgenetic alopecia can use minoxidil and it actually seems to be more effective for women compared to men. The makers of minoxidil recommend women only use the 2% concentration of minoxidil and not 5%.

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