What is Hair Loss

Hair loss is an extremely common problem that concerns many women and men, regardless of age.

Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura

DERMATOLOGIST - VENEREOLOGIST

"Hair loss can be normal (seasonal hair loss during the autumn months) or pathological and can be due to hereditary, hormonal and environmental factors", explains Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura. "In any case, thinning of the scalp, one of the most important elements of male and female appearance, often has a significant impact on the psychology of the individual."

Treatments for hair loss include medication, Autologous Hair Mesotherapy, and Hair Transplantation with the most advanced FUE method. Proper diagnosis of hair loss is the be all and end all for choosing the right treatment.

Doctor's Profile
What is Hair Loss

What is Hair Loss

All of our body hair is made up of a protein called keratin, which is produced by hair follicles located in the dermis of the skin. The follicles produce new keratin and so the old hairs fall off and are naturally replaced by new ones. Hair loss is divided into normal and abnormal hair loss. In normal hair loss, a number of hairs are lost every day. In this case, the hair is replaced and grows back. A person normally loses about 100 - 150 hairs per day. In pathological hair loss, some of the hairs that fall daily are not renewed, resulting in thinning of the scalp.

Each hair on the scalp has its own life cycle and is divided into three phases:
  • Τhe anagen phase: It lasts 3-5 years and is the development phase. At this stage the root cells actively proliferate resulting in an increase in hair length. However, this rate decreases as we grow older.
  • Τhe catagen phase: It lasts about 1-2 weeks and is the phase of weakening and "preparing" the hair for its fall. At this stage the hair stops growing.
  • The telogen phase: It lasts about 2-4 months and is the phase of hair fall. The hair follicle still exists and so the hair regenerates after a while.
Under normal conditions, 90% of the hairs are in the regenerative phase, while 10% are in the telogen phase. The first signs of hair loss occur when the percentage of hairs in the telogen phase exceeds 20%.
What is Hair Loss

Causes

The hair life cycle is divided into 3 phases: anagen, catagen and telogen. Hair loss is caused by the rapid transition from the anagen phase to the telogen phase, resulting in a higher rate of hair loss than hair regeneration. The causes of hair loss are varied, the most common being the following:

  • Ageing
  • Inheritance
  • Stress
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Taking certain medications
  • Infections
  • Environmental factors

The male hormone, testosterone, also plays a major role in hair loss, as in certain concentrations it affects hair growth. It has also been shown that hair dyes also have a negative effect on hair loss.

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What is Hair Loss

The genders

Μale hair loss

The main factors responsible for men's hair loss are the following:

  • Androgenetic alopecia, most common in men
  • Chronic diseases
  • Skin diseases
  • Reaction to certain medications
  • Poor diet
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Environmental pollution
  • Seasonality

Γυναικεία Τριχόπτωση

The following factors have been implicated in female hair loss:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Thyroid and parathyroid diseases
  • Pituitary adenomas such as prolactinoma
  • Adrenal and ovarian neoplasms leading to Hyperandrogenism
  • Chronic medication with systemic corticosteroids
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Cushing’s syndrome

Women's hair loss as explained by Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura is mainly diffuse, that is, it appears with thinning and thinning of hair throughout the scalp, while rarely "empties" an area completely. It occurs mainly after puberty, after childbirth or during menopause. There is also so-called 'seasonal hair loss', which occurs during the autumn months, when hair loss is increased.

What is Hair Loss

Diagnosis

Diagnosis and finding the cause of hair loss plays a key role in the treatment of hair loss. As Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura emphasizes, the diagnosis of hair loss should always be made by a specialized physician - Dermatologist. In particular, for the diagnosis of Androgenetic Alopecia, which is the most common form of hair loss, it is important to take the patient's medical history and perform a proper clinical examination.

In Advanced Hair Clinics, a member of the Cosmetic Derma Medicine Medical Group, the diagnosis of hair loss is made with a phototrichogram, using a special microcamera and special software. In particular, the Follysis software is used, which is one of the most complete and accurate diagnostic tools for hair loss. With the Follysis tool, precise measurements of hair density per area are made, as well as the measurement of hair thickness.

During trichoscopy, as this method is otherwise called, the following are recorded:
  • The number of hair follicles per square centimeter
  • Number of hairs in relation to the number of hair follicles per square metre
  • The number of hairs in number of hairs in the number of hairs in the number of hairs
  • The number of hair follicles, the number of hair follicles, the number of hair follicles, the number of hair follicles
  • The lesions on the cuticle
A specialized gene test (DNA test) is also carried out which identifies and maps 5 different genetic loci on the X chromosome. With this method, a diffuse alopecia of dubious cause can be accurately diagnosed, as well as predicting the development of androgenetic alopecia in the future. In some cases, the diagnosis of hair loss may require blood tests to check the levels of iron, vitamins and hormones in the blood. Biopsy for the diagnosis of hair loss may be required in certain forms of autoimmune hair loss and scarring alopecia (e.g. follicular lichen, lupus erythematosus) and in cases where neoplasms are the cause of scarring alopecia. Microbiological tests with culture may be required in infectious hair loss, such as scalp bursitis, syphilitic alopecia, fungal scalp infection.
What is Hair Loss

Categories of Alopecia

1

Androgenetic Alopecia - Male Hair Loss

For male hair loss, androgenetic alopecia plays a dominant role, as it is responsible for 95% of cases. The genes that lead to androgenetic alopecia are the subject of research by scientists, but it has been shown that most of them are located on the X chromosome and are recessive. This is why it is thought that the mother is responsible for the development of hair in men.

For the same reason, the occurrence of androgenetic alopecia in women is rarer as it requires the presence of the abnormal (recessive) genes on both X chromosomes for them to be expressed and for the disease to occur. In men, where the sex chromosomes are XY, the presence of only one abnormal X is sufficient for the genes of androgenetic alopecia to be expressed.

The genes of androgenetic alopecia located on the X chromosome determine, among other things, the way the alopecia develops, as well as the speed of its progression. Women are less predisposed to androgenetic alopecia than men, but in women it usually occurs in the form of diffuse hair loss and does not lead to complete hair loss.

The most common pattern of male pattern of androgenetic alopecia is anterior and temporal thinning with a tendency to extend towards the top of the scalp. As Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura points out, 25% of men will develop thinning by the age of 30 and 50% by the age of 50.

Androgenetic alopecia in men is due to inherited sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which shrinks hair follicles and suppresses their growth, leading to a telogen phase that leads to hair loss.

Male pattern hair loss progresses rapidly at ages 20-30 years, with a gradual slowing down at ages 30-35.

2

Androgenetic Alopecia - Female Hair Loss

Androgenetic alopecia also occurs in women, but it is much rarer than in men and is due to hereditary factors. Its aetiology is polygenic and both parents must be affected for it to occur, as it is inherited in the clonal recessive mode. The pattern of occurrence in females is diffuse with retention of the hairline, receding at the temples and diffuse thinning and thinning of the hair mainly at the top. There is a predisposition and it usually occurs after the age of 40 years and intensifies during menopause.

3

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata occurs with hair loss in patches and as explained by Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura, it is a hair loss of autoimmune etiology in which the immune system recognizes the hair follicles as foreign bodies and attacks them. It can occur on various parts of the body, as well as on the eyebrows and eyelashes, although the most common site of occurrence is the scalp at a rate of about 70%. Sometimes it can also lead to complete loss of the scalp and body hair. In this case it is called universal alopecia pedis. It does not cause any other symptom, but leads to serious psychological and social problems.

Many times, alopecia areata is associated with other diseases such as atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, thyroid diseases or more serious ones such as Down syndrome.

4

Cicatricial Alopecia

Lichen planus:

This is an autoimmune disease characterized by Cicatricial Alopecia in the form of patches that may remain stable or increase in size and number. Lichen planus is a manifestation of smooth lichen that can affect the skin, hair and nails. The bare follicles show swelling and erythema around them and are hyperkeratotic. The remaining hairs look like doll hair due to the swelling and hyperkeratosis of the hair follicles. The main sites of lichen planus hair loss are the frontal area (frontal fibrotic alopecia) and the top of the scalp.

Discoid lupus erythematosus:

It is the second most common Cicatricial Alopecia after lichen planus. It is characterized by circular, red, phlegm-like plaques that coalesce and lead to white atrophic scars.

  • Lesions, skin aplasia, wounds, burns, radiation can lead to cicatricial alopecia
  • Microbial, viral, fungal infections (e.g. syphilis, leprosy, bursitis, herpes zoster, scalp fungal infections) also lead to scarring or non-scarring alopecia
  • Malignant neoplasms such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma may lead to scarring alopecia
5

Diffuse Alopecia

Other factors that cause diffuse hair loss in men and women as explained by Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura are the following:

This is an autoimmune disease characterized by scarring alopecia in the form of plaques that may remain stable or increase in size and number. Follicular lichen is a manifestation of smooth lichen that can affect skin, hair and nails. The bare follicles show swelling and erythema around them and are hyperkeratotic. The remaining hairs look like doll hair due to the swelling and hyperkeratosis of the hair follicles. The main sites of follicular lichen hair loss are the frontal area (frontal fibrotic alopecia) and the top of the scalp.

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Use of chemicals and hair styling products
  • Strong pulling back (especially in women) – Traction Alopecia
  • Hairdressing techniques - straightening etc.
  • Excessive exposure to the sun without protection
  • Endocrine and metabolic diseases
  • Chronic diseases
  • Taking drugs such as chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Cancer
What is Hair Loss

Treatment

Hair loss can be treated conservatively and surgically, depending on the causes and the extent of the problem.

1

Conservative hair loss treatment

It finds application as a hair loss treatment in all forms of hair loss. It is used in androgenetic alopecia in men and women both for stabilization of the condition and after hair transplantation to preserve the patient's untransplanted hair.

Conservative hair loss treatment in androgenetic alopecia includes the use of minoxidil, oral or topical antiandrogens in the form of gels, Autologous Hair Mesotherapy, serum growth factors, and special shampoos to help maintain and stabilize the condition.

In cases of pollen alopecia, Autologous Hair Mesotherapy has excellent results and can lead to complete regrowth even in universal forms of pollen alopecia. As an adjuvant for the treatment of hair loss of this type, minoxidil or topical corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors are used.

In follicular lichen where the alopecia is scarring, Autologous Hair Mesotherapy and minoxidil will help prevent hair loss extension rather than regrowth in desquamous ones, as these will only benefit from hair transplantation. Corticosteroid systemic, immunosuppressive or other disease specific drugs may be required to treat hair loss.

In discoid lupus erythematosus, Autologous Hair Mesotherapy and minoxidil will help prevent the extension of hair loss. Corticosteroids and immunosuppressants may also help in some cases.

2

Surgical treatment of hair loss

Surgical treatment of hair loss with FUE hair transplantation is the definitive solution to some forms of hair loss.

It is the treatment of choice for the treatment of advanced androgenetic hair loss in both men and women. We also treat cases of female and male Androgenetic Alopecia, as well as stabilized forms of Cicatricial, Areaat & Diffuse Alopecia with this method.

It is also used as a treatment in cases of plaque hair loss such as Lichen planus, alopecia areata and discoid lupus erythematosus provided that the hair loss plaques are stable for years and there is no progression of the phenomenon.

The FUE hair transplantation method is also applied in the implantation of eyebrows, geniuses as well as the restoration of body hair on the chest, back, etc. Hair Transplantation can be combined with conservative treatment against hair loss in order to prevent the fall of existing hairs.

CDM Medical Group is a center of reference in Hair Transplantation both in Greece and abroad, thanks to the extensive knowledge and experience of the Plastic Surgeon and Medical Director of the Group, Dr. Anastasios Vekris and his highly trained team.

What is Hair Loss

FAQ

Who is the right doctor to diagnose and treat hair loss?

The appropriate physician for the diagnosis of hair loss is the Dermatologist - Venereologist, as he has the knowledge and experience to distinguish the type of hair loss using the available diagnostic methods.

The treatment of hair loss can be done by both a Dermatologist and a Plastic Surgeon who together will apply both conservative and invasive methods, such as hair transplantation, for a personalized and correct treatment of hair loss.

Does homeopathy help in the treatment of hair loss?

The only scientifically proven hair loss treatments that have been shown to help treat hair loss are minoxidil, oral or topical anti-androgens and Autologous Hair Mesotherapy. Also FUE hair transplantation, where indicated, gives a definitive solution.

Homeopathy has not been shown to cure hair loss, except in cases where it may be purely due to psychological factors.

In any case, the only expert to decide on the appropriate treatment is the Dermatologist - Venereologist who will advise the patient correctly and determine the appropriate treatment plan.

Why should I choose CDM Medical Group for the treatment of hair loss?

CDM Medical Group is the largest and most specialized group in the fields of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery with 14 clinics in Greece & Cyprus. Advanced Hair Clinics, the Group's specialized hair clinic, has been awarded nationally and internationally for its services and quality in the treatment of all types of hair loss in men and women. It has received for 4 years the title of the best hair transplant clinic in the world by the international non-profit organization IMTJ.

Founder and CEO, Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Anastasios Vekris is a member of ISHRS and has been invited as an honorary speaker and instructor at all ISHRS International Society of Hair Transplantation's global hair transplantation conferences. Advanced Hair Clinics was one of 7 clinics worldwide selected to present a live before and after hair transplant case at the ISHRS World Congress in Prague in 2017, earning the admiration of the international medical community for its excellent and natural results. Advanced Hair Clinics trains physicians from Greece and abroad on the specialized field of FUE hair transplantation.

The Dermatology Department and Plastic Surgery Department of the clinic, headed by Dermatologist & Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura and Plastic Surgeon Dr. Anastasios Vekris, provide the full range of treatment for even the most demanding cases of warts. Our medical team is at the patient's side 24/7 for whatever is needed.

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