Androgenic Alopecia - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Androgenic alopecia is the name given to the male and female pattern baldness or common baldness. It occurs after puberty and affects both sexes but less so in women. Men first develop hair loss at the temples, followed by an enlarging bald spot on top of the head. In women, the hair slowly becomes thin throughout the scalp and bald spots usually do not occur.
Androgenic Alopecia is basically a skin disease. Several factors produce changes in the hair follicle. These changes result in the miniaturization of the terminal hair into vellus hair and results in hair loss or may lead to baldness. The condition can found in individuals from their teens and upward in age. It is frequently seen by the age of forty. In general Androgenic alopecia is the chemical name of hair loss.
The main symptoms of androgenic alopecia may include as:-
- The primary symptom of the disease are roundish patches of hair loss on the head, with smooth, hairless scalp in the affected areas.
- Hairs which look like exclamation points may sometime be seen at the edges of a bald patch.
- Thinning of hair over the entire head may be sen in androgenic alopecia.
- Hair loss at the crown or hairline, mild to moderate.
- The appearance may be with fine vellus hairs in distinctive patterns such as frontal-temporal.
- In women, generally there are three main patterns observed which are: 1.a diffuse frontal-vertical thinning, 2.male pattern type and 3.diffuse thinning of the vertex.
The cause of the Androgenic Alopecia is not known .But some of the causes that are observed are:
- Falling of estrogen is the primary cause of the disease.
- If Androgenic alopecia starts in the forties or later, the main cause of its occurrence is lower estrogen levels.
- Androgenic alopecia may also occur in young people but generally the prevalence increases with advancing age.
- Harmone or genetic predisposition: Androgenic alopecia is usually passed down through family genetics.
- Not contagious that is the disease is not caused by foods and any kind of nervousness.
- Women with poly cystic ovary syndrome may have signs of some degree of androgenic alopecia .
The effective treatments for androgenic alopecia may includes:-
- Alopecia can be treated with drugs such as steriods creams, dithranol -ot minoxidil, which may trigger hair growth.
- Ultraviolet light therapy may also be useful.
- Hair transplantation: This is another option followed by the doctors for treating androgenic alopecia. In which Plugs of hair are removed surgically from areas with plenty of hair and implanted with little hair in the affected areas.
- Natural alternatives such as Provillus and other hair loss treatments are also useful for some people.
- Scalp reduction :This is a surgical procedure in which the bald area is cut out.
- Propecia is a new oral medication which treats androgenic alopecia.
- Flapping :Hair-bearing skin can also be folded over an area of bald skin with a technique called a flap.
- Natural skin care products are healthier and are becoming more and more popular today.
- Finasteride (Propecia) is a pill that slows hair loss in men.