One in four women suffer from hair loss. This supposes a strong emotional impact, which translates into a loss of confidence and self-esteem. Stress, genetics, lifestyle, environment and hormonal changes are the main causes of this problem, which has increased exponentially in recent years, especially in young girls.

According to Dr. Pedro Rodriguez, dermatologist at the Women’s Capillary Health Unit of the Ruber Internacional Hospital, and the International Dermatological Clinic, in Madrid, hair loss and lack of density are the main reasons why women come to your query. These two circumstances can be caused by two pathologies: telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia. “When the main symptom is hair loss, it may be related to telogen effluvium alopecia , while thinning of the hair shaft in certain areas may be an indication of female androgenetic alopecia.. There are other types of alopecia associated with autoimmune processes, deficiency or infections, but without a doubt these two are the most frequent”.

Telogen effluvium alopecia is the progressive loss of hair all over the scalp. It appears at certain moments in a woman’s life, such as after surgery, postpartum, after a health problem or after a very stressful situation.

In the case of androgenetic alopecia, an increased sensitivity of the hair follicle root to androgens (hormones derived from testosterone) circulating in the bloodstream is observed. This causes the shaft to undergo a gradual thinning that ends up being as thin as body hair. You also do not get the hair density that you should. In this way, lightened or bald areas begin to appear on the scalp that can be located from the frontal area to the crown and on both sides of the parting. This type of alopecia occurs more frequently in women of childbearing age, with hormonal problems (for example, polycystic ovary) and after menopause.

Individualized treatment

To address hair loss, Dr. Rodriguez considers it important to assess the characteristics of each person, since the medical treatment of this pathology is diverse and, in order to be effective, it must be adapted to the personal, work, and vital situation of the patient. The most important thing is to make a good diagnosis. “Among the therapies available are hair mesotherapy, which allows drugs to be administered directly into the injected hair bulb, oral medication specific to the scalp, or hair transplantation , which is a possibility in certain cases,” says the specialist.

If the hair loss is irreversible -this situation is usually exceptional- the dermatologist points out safe and effective treatments that can be interesting options, such as hair prostheses, FAS systems or micropigmentation.

Despite the fact that hair loss affects both men and women, the diagnosis as well as the treatment cannot be carried out in the same way, since the capillary involvement manifests itself differently depending on the sex: the areas of loss are different, the age of the fall varies and the associated problems are not the same either .

The psychological effect that this alopecia causes in the female sex is not the same either. “It tends to have a more negative effect on them. However, it is curious, but on many occasions instead of transferring this concern to dermatologists specialized in hair regeneration, they limit themselves to sharing this concern with their close relatives or in trusted beauty centers. Although falls are usually temporary at some point in a woman’s life, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist when the patient is concerned. The advice would be to seek help as soon as possible, since it is always more satisfactory in terms of results to treat mild cases than serious or advanced ones , ”says Dr. Pedro Rodriguez.

The dermatologist makes a special mention of the temporary alopecia suffered by people with some oncological pathology, as a consequence of the treatments. “To avoid anagen effluvium, which is the name given to sudden hair loss from chemotherapy, the ideal is to try using hypothermic caps (cooling of the scalp) to mitigate this loss. The hypothermic caps cool the head, contracting the vessels, which reduces the chemotherapy that reaches the hair follicles through the blood,” says Dr. Rodriguez.

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