Hair Loss: Medical Terminologies

Generally, hair loss may be attributed to heredity, hormones and aging. There are different terminologies for hair loss, such as alopecia totalis (loss of all the scalp hair); alopecia universalis (loss of all body hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes); alocepia areata (loss of patches of hair). Researchers are still unable to reach a definite conclusion as to why  people lose their hair, other than attributing the problem to heredity, hormones and aging, and tend to believe that the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, mistaking these to be foreign tissue.

A type of hair loss that is most prevalent is male pattern baldness, known as androgenetic alocepia (AGA), which is particularly common in men. Studies have shown  that the hair follicles of those susceptible to AGA have receptors that are programmed to slow down or totally shut off hair production because of androgens.

Women can also be susceptible to hair loss, though not as extensive, usually occurring after menopause.  As a matter of fact, women experience some hair thinning as they age, followitypong menopause. Some women, however, begin to experience a definite thinning of hair, as early as puberty. Generally, most women begin to lose some hair two or three months after giving birth.

Studies have shown that a species of tiny mite, known as demodex follicularum may be the contributing factor to balding.  Such tiny mites begin to reside in hair follicles by the time a person reaches middle age, without causing any bodily harm. 

There are other reasons for hair loss, such as poor circulation, acute illness, surgery, radiation exposure, skin disease, sudden weight loss, high fever, iron deficiency, diabetes, thyroid disease, drugs used in chemotherapy, stress, poor diet, ringworm and other kinds of fungal infections, as well as vitamin deficiencies.


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