Patchy hair loss in men or women is often linked to a hair loss problem known as alopecia areata. However, intake of certain medications or improper hair care such as too much shampooing can also cause bald spots to appear on the scalp.
When the scalp area loses its hair in patches, it is certainly a cause of concern. It could well indicate the symptom of an underlying condition. Patches of hairless pattern is no more an old age phenomenon but can also be seen in younger generation in the age group of 15-30. Sometimes, these round areas devoid of hair are not restricted to the scalp but can also affect the beard.
Stress-induced hair loss, which is quite common in today’s hectic lifestyle, also occurs in the form of bald patches on the scalp. Other factors are listed below:
Bald patches on the head can also occur as a side effect of certain medicines. It is especially observed in people who have undergone chemotherapy, drugs used to treat cancer patients. Other drugs such as Elmiron used to reduce bladder pain or dienestrol can lead to the development of bald areas on the scalp.
Too much use of the shampoo on a daily basis can certainly bring hair loss in the form of bald patches on the scalp. Using inappropriate shampoos that contain harsh chemicals can also lead to patchy hair loss.
This typical baldness pattern is considered to be one of the symptoms of syphilis. A person affected with this STD shows multiple, round syphilis sores on the vaginal, anal or the rectum area. The secondary stage of syphilis is characterized by formation of rash and is accompanied by other health issues like fever, unexplained weight loss, sore throat and round patches of hair loss on the scalp.
Coin shaped bald patches on the scalp and beard are commonly observed in people diagnosed with alopecia areata. Although alopecia can affect any part of the skin, it usually strikes the scalp. Initially, one or two round patches of hair loss may be seen but as the disease progresses, multiple circular bald patterns are noticed. Alopecia areata is not gender biased and can affect both men and women.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system causes harm to its own hair follicles. A hair follicle is a tubular sac like structure that holds the hair root. So, any damage to the hair follicle interferes with hair growth and eventually brings baldness in that area. Hormonal imbalance and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the other factors that can also cause alopecia areata.
Underactive thyroid glands fail to release the required amount of thyroid hormones whereas overactive thyroid gland produce these hormones excessively, resulting in bald spots on the scalp.
Treatment will depend upon the underlying cause. In case of alopecia areata, corticosteroids injections are administered into the bald areas of the scalp. Basically corticosteroids help to stop the immune system attacking its own hair follicles, by suppressing it. These injections restore normal hair growth and one may see the difference within 3-4 weeks. On the other hand, medications like L – thyroxine, beta blockers, and iodide are commonly prescribed to treat thyroid problems.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.