Alopecia is referred to as hair loss on any part of the human body. There are different types of alopecia ranging from hair thinning to baldness. This condition is common among the elderly, with a greater number seen in men. Since there are different types of alopecia, it follows that there are also different types of hair loss treatments.
Hair loss may be temporary or permanent and it can be triggered by various factors. Irritants, allergens, burns, toxins, even infections can cause hair loss. There are also certain medications (such as anabolic steroids) that can cause the hair to fall excessively. Chemotherapy, radiation and chronic kidney failure are also factors for hair fall. At times, hair loss can be due to Vitamin A overdose, fever, a diseased thyroid gland, pregnancy or anemia.
No More Hair Loss
Is there a single, effective treatment for hair loss? Men and women have searched far and low for the best treatment there is. Though remedies and many medical promises have been said in the past (even as early as ancient times), there is very little that people can do to reverse the thinning process.
Just for cosmetic purposes, people have turned to hairpieces, wigs and hair weaves. Some even get tattoos that can simulate the appearance of real hair. Even lost eyebrows and eyelashes have been tattooed in.
There are a few drugs that can slow down hair loss. There are also alternative treatments that can boost the health of the remaining hair, however, there is no cure that can replace a patient’s head full of hair.
Rogaine in Minoxidil is a leading hair loss treatment. This topical preparation offers modest hair regrowth on certain areas of the scalp that have already gone bald. Rogaine focuses on treating hair follicles in order to reverse their shrinking process. When this is reversed, it has been observed that new hair growth is probable. The effects are very promising to a lot of people who are on the earliest stages of balding.
The Rogaine solution must be applied to the balding spots twice daily. This must be done indefinitely or hair loss could occur once more. About 50% of users attest to the benefits that they enjoy with the use of this solution. It has slowed hair loss and has even thickened the hair in some. This is not considered as an effective solution for men who are suffering from extensive male pattern baldness, though.
Another treatment that you can consider is Propecia (Finasteride). This used to be taken in higher doses for prostate treatment, however, it has been observed to be more effective on the reduction of male pattern baldness.
Propecia blocks the formation of male hormones which can spur hair loss. This is prescribed by doctors to be taken once each day. Just like any drug, this pill also has side effects so be sure to discuss your Propecia use with a doctor to find out if it is the right drug for you.
Propecia is not to be used by pregnant or suspected to be pregnant women as it can cause birth defects. This drug might not be as effective in older women.
For people who want quicker results, they can turn to hair transplantation. This procedure involves skin plug relocation. Parts of the scalp that still have remaining hair follicles are taken and relocated to ailing scalp areas. A single patient may require several hundred of skin plugs. A single session could be a procedure for 10 to 60 implants. There is no certainty that the transplanted hair would all grow but, more often than not, new hair begins to grow in the follicles in just a few months.
Another form of treatment is Prednisone which is also an oral steroid. This comes with potential side effects such as metabolic abnormalities, weight gain, menstrual issues and acne, though. Its positive effects are but temporary.
Other treatments for alopecia include Anthralin and a topical drug known as Diphencyprone. Many patients have used two or more treatments in order to achieve the results that they want.
Hair loss treatment can be a lifelong journey for many people. Be sure to include your doctor as you tread that long path.