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Hair Loss (cont.)

Hair Loss Causes

  • Common causes of hair loss
    • Male-pattern baldness, a non-scarring alopecia (androgenetic alopecia), is genetically determined. In afflicted postpubertal individuals, hair follicles in the center of the scalp and over the temple begin to miniaturize, producing small, fine hairs which are difficult to see. This process is due to the metabolism of testosterone by an enzyme in the hair follicle. Generally, hair follicles over the ears and around the posterior of the scalp do not possess this enzyme so a fringe of normal hair is maintained.
    • Female-pattern baldness is very similar to its male counterpart, although it is rarely as complete, it is more diffuse, and often involves a frontal hairline.
    • Alopecia areata, a non-scarring alopecia, is thought to be an autoimmune disease and is characterized by distinct, localized, sharply marginated areas of hair loss. This characteristically spontaneously remits but occasionally can result in the loss of 100% of all body hair.
    • Medications such as allopurinol (Zyloprim) and warfarin (Coumadin)
    • Poor nutrition
  • Uncommon causes of alopecia
    • Infections such as syphilis and fungal infections
    • Skin diseases such as lupus and lichen planus
    • Skin cancers
    • Hormone problems
    • Kidney failure
    • Liver failure
    • Thyroid disease
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/20/2014

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Alopecia Areata »

Alopecia areata is a recurrent nonscarring type of hair loss that can affect any hair-bearing area.

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