Discussion of localized hair loss in women.

Hair Structure
Female Pattern Baldness
Localized Hair Loss
Sudden Hair Loss
Causes of Baldness
Role of Heredity
Role of Androgens
Psychological Aspects
Treatment of Baldness
Selection of a Clinic
Anti-androgen Therapy
Hair Transplantation
Follicular Hair Transplant

Home >> Localized Hair Loss in Women

Healthy and shiny hair adds to the beauty of women. Unfortunately many women suffer from female pattern baldness . In this case they often go for treatments like hair transplantation. Besides female pattern baldness women may also suffer from patchy or localized hair loss. There are many conditions that result in localized hair loss.

Alopecia areata (AA) is a type of localized hair loss. It is a genetic disease and is a common cause of hair loss in women. It can affect even men and children.

In AA there is development of sudden round patches on the scalp and the roots of the hair follicles are swollen. The important thing about this disease is that in this condition the hair follicles are not destroyed and there is growth of hair after the inflammation subsides. However, in many cases the condition extends and goes through many cycles of growth and re-growth. In this condition only growing hair follicles come under attack.

Scarring alopecia is another medical condition which is responsible for patchy hair loss in women. Various factors like lupus, lichen planus or local radiation therapy can cause this situation. Even baldness caused by any injury can cause scarring alopecia. The condition starts with small patches on the scalp. Gradually there is more and more loss of hair on the scalp. Since the hair loss is gradual sometimes it is difficult to even notice it in scarring alopecia. Sometimes it can be accompanied with severe itching and pain.

In scarring alopecia patches of the scalp have ragged edges. The affected areas in this condition are smooth but in some cases there can be redness, scaling or change in pigmentation on the area.

In the case of scarring alopecia a skin biopsy is conducted to confirm the type of the disease since it is difficult in many cases to diagnose the condition. During the diagnosis a physician looks for destruction of the hair follicles and the presence and location of inflammation around hair follicles.

Sometimes infection can also cause patchy hair loss in women. Ringworm, folliculitis, piedra etc. are some of the types of infection that can cause localized hair loss in women.

Ringworm is caused when a fungus gets into the hair fiber and makes it weak. Hair fibers become so brittle in this case that they can easily break off and then bald areas appear on the scalp. The bald area in this case is normally itchy and inflated.

Folliculitis is another condition that may result in hair fall. There is inflammation around the opening of hair follicles in this case. Hair fibers are normally present in folliculitis but as the condition worsens hairs begin to fall out. The condition can be induced by a virus, fungus, or a yeast.

Piedra is another condition in which hair fibers are infected by a fungus that ultimately results in hair fall. Development of hard nodules on hair fibers is often seen in this condition. Seborrheic dermatitis is another skin disease that can result in temporary hair loss.

There are many medicines used in the case of these patchy or localized hair losses in women. In the case of alopecia areata, corticosteroids or a combination therapy using minoxidil and anthralin are good options for the treatment. The factors like age and the extent of disease is also taken into consideration.

Treatment for scarring alopecia needs some strong medication. The nature of treatment varies according to the diagnosis. In the case the disease is caused by lymphocyte inflammation the treatment is done using corticosteroids creams. In some cases antimalarial and isotretinoin drugs can also be used. Other drugs like methotrexate, tacrolimus, cyclosporin and thalidomide are also used in some cases of scarring alopecia.

The treatment of ringworm is usually done with the help of drugs like griseofulvin. The medicine stops the fungus from infecting the keratin. Other drugs like terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole are also used in some cases.

Antibiotics like bacitracin, mycitracin and neomycin are useful in the case of hair loss due to folliculitis. Erythromycin is also used if the case is a serious one.