Baldness is hair loss, or absence of hair. It’s also called alopecia. Baldness is usually most noticeable on the scalp but can happen anywhere on the body where hair grows. The condition is more common in men than in women. ending on the type, the symptoms of baldness will vary. There are several types of baldness including:
Female-pattern baldness. Although less common, female-pattern baldness differs from that of male-pattern baldness in that the hair generally thins all over the head. The hairline is maintained. Female-pattern baldness rarely results in total hair loss.
Male-pattern baldness. Male-pattern baldness is usually inherited. The condition may begin at any age. Hair loss often begins on the front, sides, or on the crown of the head. Some men may develop a bald spot or just a receding hairline. Others may lose all of their hair.
Alopecia areata. This hair loss disorder is characterized by sudden loss of hair in one particular area. The hair grows back after several months. However, if all body hair is suddenly lost, regrowth may not happen. The exact cause of this type of hair loss is unknown. There is a genetic link as well as a link with autoimmune conditions and allergies. If hair loss is complete on the scalp, it is called alopecia totalis, and if all body hair is lost, it is called alopecia universalis.
Toxic alopecia. Toxic alopecia may happen after a high fever or severe illness. Certain medicines, especially thallium, high doses of vitamin A, retinoids, and cancer medicines may also cause it. Medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, and giving birth may also trigger toxic alopecia. The condition is characterized by temporary hair loss.
Scarring or cicatricial alopecia. Scarred areas may prevent the hair from growing back. Scarring may happen from burns, injury, or X-ray therapy. However, other types oscarring that may cause hair loss can be caused by diseases. These include lupus, bacterial or fungal skin infections, lichen planus, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or skin cancer.
Trichotillomania (hair pulling). Hair pulling may cause hair loss. This condition is common in young children. In addition to a medical history and physical exam, a punch biopsy of the skin may help to identify the type of baldness and/or its cause. A culture may be done if infection is suspected.
For personalized dermatology in Jacksonville contact our office 904.731.8300 to schedule an appointment, we will consider your age, overall health, the severity of your condition and other factors in determining what treatment is best for you. We place a premium on your health and the health of your skin.