- Hair fall (alopecia, hair loss) is a common complaint in men and in women and is a common cause of distress.
- When examining hair, it is to determine whether
- hair loss is localized or diffuse
- whether scarring is present or not
- whether are skin changes in the hair, the face, the nails or on the rest of the body
- whether the hair is actively falling
- whether there are changes of the hair shaft
- Examination together with history enable the dermatologist (skin doctor) to make an initial diagnosis; further blood tests can be ordered most especially to determine if other systemic conditions can be linked (iron deficiency anemia (anaemia)…).
- When a solid diagnosis is made the patient can be informed of expectations and treatment (local and/or systemic) can be initiated.
- Common causes of:
- localized non-scarring alopecia: alopecia areata, androgenic (androgenetic) alopecia, trichotillomania…
- localized scarring alopecia: discoid (chronic) lupus erythematosus…
- diffuse non-scarring alopecia: telogen effluvium, iron deficiency, syphilis…
- Treatment options are widespread and include sprays, injections, oral medication…