Alopecia Types and Treatments

Posted on the behalf of Medical Dermatology Specialists on
A trichologist examining hair of a man who complains about alopecia.

If you do a simple search for types of alopecia, you’ll find a variety of answers, from 3 to 5, 7 and 11. So what is the confusion all about? As alopecia has become a more commonly known condition through a certain incident in the news, it’s time to start understanding more about this devastating condition and how it can be treated.

Types of Alopecia

There are many varieties of alopecia, and they aren’t all treated the same way. So, it’s important to see someone who specializes in alopecia to get a proper diagnosis. We will look at a few types of alopecia now and will discuss others in a future blog.

Androgenic alopecia
This type of alopecia is commonly known as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness. While men may see an ever-increasing forehead as their hairline recedes, women are more likely to notice thinning throughout their hair, and the part begins to widen.
There are genetic components to androgenic alopecia. There may also be environmental causes of this type. Effective treatments are available for many, both male and female.
Alopecia areata
This variety of hair loss shows itself with patchy bald spots across the body and often on the scalp. Alopecia areata is caused by an immune system rebellion, where the immune system begins attacking hair follicles. As a result, the hair will often grow back, but it can also fall out again. Treatments are available, and many patients experience great success at regrowth.
Alopecia totalis
This type of alopecia is one of the most devastating types of hair loss because it involves a total loss of hair on the scalp. Treatments are similar to those used for alopecia areata and include more advanced immunosuppressive therapies.
Traction alopecia
This environmental hair loss is brought on by stress and style choices that cause too much stress on the hair. For example, tight ponytails that pull the hair tight from the scalp damage the hair and can result in bald spots. Other styles that pull so much they can damage hair follicles include dreadlocks, weaves, extensions and braids.

If you don’t rotate your hairstyles and relieve the pressure on the follicles, the hair loss can become permanent, and the only solution may be hair transplants.

Treatment advances are always happening in alopecia. For example, a recent announcement of a new drug being tested at Yale Medical School called Baricitinib shows great promise for triggering new hair growth in patients with alopecia areata. These advancements are always encouraging for doctors and patients alike.

If you’re concerned about alopecia, contact a doctor who specializes in the condition. Just click here and set up your consultation with our hair loss experts at Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc. today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.

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