Hair Loss: Its Causes and Treatment
Androgenetic hair loss or male pattern baldness is an issue that affects millions of Americans yearly. It affects the majority of men at some point in their lives and can begin as early as your 20s. In some instances the condition is treatable with dietary changes, or is caused by risk factors including thyroid disease, anemia, or chemotherapy. In other instances, there is a genetic underlying cause to the disease.
While it may be true that the majority of men who suffer from hair loss don’t have a serious underlying cause, but that determination should be made by physician in order to exclude the possibility of other causes. Generally, a determination of male pattern baldness can be made based on the shape of the hairline recession.
What Causes Male Pattern Baldness
When all other possibilities for hair loss have been excluded, a diagnosis of male pattern baldness is the most likely candidate. Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition that is related to the production of certain hormones. It caused by a shrinking of the hair follicles themselves, which cause the hair to thin, and over time, stop producing hair altogether.
How Is Male Pattern Baldness Treated?
For those who don’t have an issue with their hair loss, it is generally not considered a medical problem. Simply learning to be bald made be the optimum strategy in this instance. For others who are bothered by the fact that their head is no longer producing hair, there are a number of effective treatments available to restore hair growth.
These include various medication that have been given FDA approval for the treatment of hair loss, and various surgical procedures that remove hair from undamaged follicles and surgical implant the hair into damaged ones.
While medications have proven to be effective, there is a window of opportunity that shrinks as time goes on. Once a patient is on the medication, they must stay on the medication or the new hair growth will fall out and the loss of hair will continue. Since these medications inhibit the production of key hormones, some sexual side effects have been noticed in rare cases. However, the side effects are generally temporary.
Surgically, the process of restoring hair growth is the most effective and longest lasting treatment. Different procedures exist that may be indicated for different patients. Generally, the difference is between how the follicles are removed. In the case of the FUT procedure, the follicles are removed in strips along with some tissue. In the case of FUE procedure, individual hair follicles are removed, and then the follicles that are no longer producing hair are widened, and the extracted follicles are surgically implanted in those follicles. Both procedures produce permanent results.
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