The medical term for baldness or hair loss is alopecia. Denver’s AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery team regularly works with people with this medical condition, emphasizing that there are many reasons someone may experience hair loss that leads to thinning scalp cover, a receding hairline, or bald patches.
Before deciding on a treatment to address the alopecia, it is important to first determine the cause. Hair loss can be a temporary phenomenon triggered by a traumatic event or environmental stressors. Or it could be a sign of an underlying health condition or autoimmune disorders. It could even be the result of inherited genes. Different types of hair loss are treated with a wide variety of medical therapies, so choosing an experienced dermatologist can be crucial to seeing an effective solution.
Numerous factors can influence hair growth and loss. Some of the major types of alopecia include:
A disease that can impact children, teenagers, and adults alike, this unpredictable condition can create random bald patches on the scalp—or anywhere hair grows—that may or may not be filled in again with new hairs within a year. It can also impact the nails, causing them to be brittle, pocked, or red in hue. If the disease progresses beyond patchiness, it is known as alopecia totalis (a fully bare scalp) or alopecia universalis (no hair on the entire body).
A common form of hair loss, this is better known as male or female pattern baldness. The hereditary condition causes follicles to shut down in a generally predictable progression, leading to progressive thinning, a receding hairline, and/or growing bald spot on the crown. A majority of men experience some form of androgenic alopecia, as do a significant number of women. Female pattern baldness tends to appear as general thinning, which leads to an ever-widening part.
The result of certain hairstyles, this form of loss happens when the hair is repeatedly pulled tight, such as when put into a braid or ponytail. The problem develops due to constant stress put on the follicles.
Anything that rips out hairs and physically damages the follicles, leading to baldness, may be considered a traumatic form of hair loss. The injury itself could be the problem, as could the resulting scar tissue.
This is a type of inflammation and scarring hair loss commonly seen in women where the hairline progressively recedes.
Telogen effluvium is the term for hair falling out after shock or an intensely stressful event. Other causes of hair loss include diet, chronic medical conditions, and certain medications or treatments. Chemotherapy to fight cancer, for instance, also causes hair to fall out as a side effect. Folliculitis decalvans and dissecting cellulitis of the scalp are inflammatory scarring alopecia.
Every case is different, with treatment plans developed to address the specific cause of a patient’s hair loss. For some, all that will be needed is time to let hair grow back. For others, restoring hair may involve finishing the course of a medication, changing diets, or choosing a different hairstyle to avoid damaging the follicles. The physicians at AboutSkin are specially trained to both diagnose and treat all types of alopecia. Using the latest medications and technology, they can often help improve the hair loss. In addition to using evidence-based medication, AboutSkin offers platelet-rich plasma injections and laser treatments for different types of alopecia.
As director of AboutSkin Dermatology, the nationally renowned Dr. Cohen oversees the practice.READ MORE
Dr. Stoler has provided medical and surgical services at AboutSkin Dermatology since 2011.READ MORE
Dr. Ho joined AboutSkin Dermatology in 2012, and provides medical and surgical services.READ MORE
Dr. Fettig came to AboutSkin in 2019 after completing her Boston University residency.READ MORE