Hair loss — what your doctor calls alopecia — takes many forms and has many causes. Fortunately, your Manhattan dermatologist has effective alopecia treatments. Don’t settle for an over-the-counter hair loss treatment that makes outrageous promises; visit an expert at Manhattan Dermatology Specialists for an honest appraisal and effective treatment.
Anyone can suffer from hair loss — including men and women of any age. Even children are susceptible. It’s most common, however, in men 50 and older. Most men suffer from some level of hair loss, from thinning hair to complete baldness. In fact, approximately 85 percent of all men have lost at least some hair loss by the time they reach 50 years old.
Hair loss, or alopecia, actually can affect people in many different ways. Some people experience a gradual loss of hair, for example, while others experience their hair falling out relatively quickly. The types of alopecia include:
- Androgenetic alopecia is male pattern baldness (or female pattern baldness). In men, it presents as a loss of hair on the crown and at the temples. In women, it’s seen as thinning hair, most often at the top of the head and on the crown, while the hairline stays the same.
- Alopecia areata appears as circular bald patches, usually on the head. These patches are often irregular in location, and can be present on the head, eyebrows, beard and body. Alopecia universalis is the total loss of hair, including your eyebrows and body hair. This condition is rare.
- Traction alopecia causes thinning and hair loss for those who wear their hair in fashions that pull the hair tight, such as braids or pigtails.
- Telogen effluvium results in losing hair by the handful. This is often a temporary condition brought on by stress or shock.
Men and women alike seek alopecia treatment because their hair loss results in a simultaneous loss of self-esteem. If your hair loss affects your quality of life, seek medical attention. If you’re considering the use of over-the-counter remedies or even transplants, most medical experts recommend that you first consult with your doctor. Visit Manhattan Dermatology Specialists before starting any kind of treatment.
When you come in for an examination, your NYC dermatology doctor takes a full family and medical history. Before the physical exam, therefore, you are asked about your close relatives and their characteristic hairlines and the fullness of their hair. Then your dermatologist asks about the medications you’re currently taking or have taken in the recent past. During the physical exam that follows, your doctor knows what to look for in your symptoms.
Getting to the Root Cause
Alopecia most often is caused by heredity, but many other factors can cause it, including changes in hormone levels and medications. Other medical conditions can contribute to hair loss, as well. While female and male pattern baldness is genetic, it tends to come on gradually, which usually makes it easy to identify. Other causes of alopecia may require a visit to your Manhattan dermatologist.
Changes in your hormones that lead to hair loss can occur during the period from pregnancy to childbirth, and it’s also common around menopause. Medications used for treating other conditions — such as cancer, heart issues and high blood pressure — can cause hair loss, as can taking too much vitamin A. Other medical conditions known to cause hair loss include:
- Thyroid problems
- Scalp disorders
- Immune disorders or deficiencies
- Radiation therapy
- Dramatic weight loss
- Emotional trauma
- Excessive, uninterrupted stress
- Hair treatments
Hair Loss Treatment in New York
Not all hair loss is permanent. Once you have identified the cause of your condition, your dermatologist in New York City can put together a treatment plan. Treatment usually starts with the least invasive techniques. If they work, you need go no farther. If they don’t, you may need additional treatment.
If you’re suffering from another medical condition that’s causing your hair to fall out, treating that condition often reverses your hair loss. Medication is the next step to combatting alopecia, and there are two effective hair loss treatments:
- This is a non-prescription-strength topical medicine that you need to use twice a day for at least six months. Reports show it works better for some people than others, but you need to keep using it to see the benefits.
- This prescription-strength pill effectively slows or stops hair loss in men, but not everyone who takes it sees new hair. Both drugs have possible side effects, but for propecia, they may include sexual dysfunction and a higher risk of prostate cancer.
Surgery is another possibility. Since surgery is an elective procedure, it’s not covered by most insurance plans. Most surgeries involve transplanting hair follicles — taken from a donor site at the back of your head — onto the top of your head.
New Treatments for Hair Loss
Research continues to find more advanced hair loss treatments. The National Institutes of Health recently tested and acknowledged the effectiveness of two new techniques:
- Platelet rich plasma injections, which have been proven to slow hair loss and promote new hair growth.
- Red light therapy is a low-level laser treatment that provides a significant increase in hair growth.
Non-Medical Hair Loss Treatments
The most common and least intrusive non-medical alopecia treatment is to have a wig or toupee fitted to your head. Wigs may even be covered by insurance if your hair loss was caused by a medical condition or treatment (such as radiation therapy).
Treat the hair — and hair follicles — you have left with more respect. Don’t twist your hair or pull at it, whether in a nervous habit or an unforgiving hair style. If your family has a history of female or male pattern baldness, take care of your hair to lengthen its life.
Another hair loss treatment is to make appropriate lifestyle changes. Reduce your stress. Eat a well-balanced diet. Since poor nutrition contributes to hair loss, changing your diet can help reverse your troubling alopecia. Get plenty of:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Biotin (water-soluble vitamin B)
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Hair Loss treatment in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized dermatologist in New York, Dr. Susan Bard of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, please contact our Midtown NYC or Upper East Side NYC office for consultation with the top hair loss dermatologist.