There are several hair diseases – some of them are easy to cure while others can only be decelerated as there is no permanent cure.
Here we describe some of the most common hair diseases, what they mean and what can be done about them.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease that affects people of all ages. The patches can appear anywhere on the head – often as round or oval spots, 1-3cm across. It is not uncommon to have several patches at the same time that can also move to other areas on the head.
The body’s own immune defense attacks for unknown reason the follicles and makes them leave the anagen phase and let go of the hair. This process can be very rapid, and it is not uncommon for people to develop a bald patch within 24 hours.
The shorter time one has had these patches, the greater is the likelihood of the hair growing back. Many times the patches disappear by themselves, but they can return later in life. A contributory cause to the outbreaks of this disease is stress and anxiety. A common form of treatment is PRP-treatments.
Telogen effluvium – trauma
When the body goes through radical and severely traumatic experiences, such as severe infections, fever diseases, child birth, difficult surgeries or extreme stress, the phases of the individual hair strands can change.
From being in the growth phase (the anagen phase which lasts up to 6-7 years) the hair can suddenly transition to the resting phase (telogen phase), which results in the hair falling off. A change to the telogen phase can happen very quickly. Sometimes it happens over a few weeks and large amounts of hair can fall off. Otherwise it can take up to several months before the hair falls off and at that time it becomes very difficult to determine the actual cause of the hair loss.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that effects the pigmentation (colour) of the skin and hair. The hair is often white in some areas. It can be small spots or larger areas, all or parts of the eyebrows as well as one or more spots in the beard of men.
There is today no treatment however it is intensely researched around the world. At Nordic Hair Clinic we have completed and extensive investigation on how PRP affects the disease. The results do not show any obvious changed in skin colour however PRP often affects the white skin and makes it regain its normal skin tone.
There is still a lot to be tested and Nordic Hair Clinic will continue to increase the tests related to PRP and Vitiligo.
Trichotillomania is not a physical disease but a psychological impact, which causes a person to knowingly or unknowingly pick or pull hair from the head. The illness is not particularly known and can therefore make people that suffer from it feel very lonely and unhappy.
They often try to hide it and not talk about the illness with others. It can be very hard to stop pulling the hair out and long-standing therapy is often required to become free from the “desire” to pull out hair.
In those cases a person has been pulling hair out for a long period of time it may have damaged the follicles to a point where the hair growth has slowed down or completely stopped. If a person has become free from the desire to pull hair out the bald spots can be covered through a hair transplant.
Nordic Hair Clinic has completed a large numbers of hair transplants for people with Trichotillomania.
Local trauma where tight hairdos, such as a tight, backward going braid pull the follicles and create damage.
If discovered in time the hair can grow back, otherwise there can be permanent damage without new hair growth.
Hair loss due to scar formations on the scalp is called Scarring Alopecia. The scarring can have different causes.
Traction Alopecia or Trichotillomania (see above) can cause scar tissue in the skin if it has continued for a long time. Damage to the scalp from accidents or burn injuries often leaves permanent scars that heals with no hair growth.
There are several autoimmune diseases that damage the follicles so that they die and leave only scar tissue behind. Bacterial infections and viral infections can also leave permanent scars as a result.
Atheroma – Thyroid Cyst
Atheroma is a benign cyst that consists of tallow. The cyst is developed when the canal from the thyroid gland is plugged and the tallow is trapped.
Atheroma can develop anywhere in the body but is most commonly in area where hair grows, such as the scalp on the head. The skin over an Atheroma is often completely smooth and normal. During an examination a round or oval mark is often seen, that is adhered to the skin but often slightly movable underneath the skin.
The Atheroma is “springy and elastic” in its consistency. Some people can develop multiple Atheromas without known cause. You often do not have any issues from the Atheroma, other than esthetical.
However, an Atheroma does not typically disappear by itself and a minor surgical procedure is often required.