Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Thinning Hair and Scalp Diseases

There are a variety of hair and scalp diseases; some are very common, while other more severe hair and scalp diseases are fortunately rare. Alopecia areata is a disorder in which the immune system, which is designed to protect the body from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, the tiny cup-shaped structures from which hairs grow. This can lead to thinning hair on the scalp and other areas of the body. 

Psoriasis, thinning hair, hair loss
Psoriasis is a noncontagious skin condition that produces red, dry plaques of thickened skin. The dry flakes and skin scales are thought to result from the rapid proliferation of skin cells that is triggered by abnormal lymphocytes from the blood . Psoriasis commonly affects the skin of the elbows, knees, and scalp. At least half of people who have psoriasis have scalp psoriasis. Like seborrhea, scalp psoriasis left untreated can cause hair loss. It is vital not to scratch your scalp and pick at the scabs that psoriasis causes, as this could damage the hair follicles in the dermis and cause permanent hair loss. As long as the follicles are not damaged, thinning hair caused by this malady is usually temporary and hair will grow back once the condition clears. it can also be treated with a variety of topical creams and shampoos containing tar and salicylic acid.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis, thinning hair, hair loss
Seborrhoeic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disorder affecting the scalp, face, and torso. Typically, seborrheic dermatitis presents with scaly, flaky, itchy, and red skin. They causes excessive oiliness of the skin, most commonly in the scalp, caused by overproduction of sebum, the substance produced by the body to lubricate the skin where hair follicles are present.Seborrhea and seborrheic dermatitis are both easily treated and controlled, and should be because left untreated they can contribute to thinning hair. It is easily treated with topical solutions: proper scalp hygiene; combines a dandruff shampoo containing pine tar, selenium sulfide or salicylic acid, antifungal agent & topical steroid.
Eczema, thinning hair,
Eczema is a general term for many types of skin inflammation. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Eczema produces scales, reddened inflamed skin that periodically ooze, and the familiar itch that is of supreme annoyance to those that suffer with it. There are many different forms of eczema. Eczema causes extreme buildup and sores on the scalp, and can cause severe scarring. The buildup caused by eczema can cause temporary thinning hair, however the scarring that can occur especially if one scratches the painfully itchy lesions can cause permanent damage to the hair follicles. Over-the-counter products, such as hydrocortisone 1% cream, or prescription creams and ointments containing corticosteroids are often prescribed to reduce inflammation. Other treatments include antihistamines to reduce severe itching, tar treatments , phototherapy and the drug cyclosporine for people whose condition doesn't respond to other treatments.

 Chemotherapy also harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances: cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract, and hair follicles. This results in the most common side-effects of chemotherapy: myelosuppression (decreased production of blood cells, hence also immunosuppression), mucositis (inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract), and alopecia (hair loss). Thinning hair due to chemotherapy treatments is a common side effect of the treatment. Those recovering from chemotherapy should avoid chemical processes such as perms, relaxers, bleaching and coloring in the hair until it grows at least three inches and not until at least one year after the last treatment.

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