Kenneth Beer, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist in Palm Beach, Fla., and the director of scientificskin.com, an online skincare company. He is also the director of The Cosmetic Bootcamp, which trains physicians in best practices for cosmetic medicine. Dr. Beer is an instructor in dermatology at the University of Miami, and he is an A.B. Duke Scholar at Duke University. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and received his dermatology and dermatophathology training at the University of Chicago. Visit Dr. Beer's office at palmbeachcosmetic.com.
 
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Help for Hair Loss in Women

Thursday, 07 Jun 2012 11:02 AM


Hair loss in women can have profound psychological consequences often resulting in low self esteem and depression. The reasons behind it are diverse, and while some causes are non-reversible, many cases of hair loss in women can be helped.

Hair growth occurs in cycles and most of the hair that is visible is in the anagen or growth cycle. Women often lose hair following childbirth, illness, or traumatic events. This shedding is known as a telogen effluvium and usually lasts for about six months. Diets that are calorie poor or protein or vitamin deficient also cause hair to shed.

Metabolic factors and hormone levels also play a vital role in hair loss. Thyroid disease is a well known cause (also resulting in dry skin and cold intolerance) and is easily checked with a blood test. If your doctor finds a thyroid problem, he or she may prescribe Synthroid or Armour Thyroid, depending on which is most appropriate for you.

Iron deficiency is more common in women and may lead to hair loss. One of my friends is the world expert in hair disease and believes that iron supplementation is the simplest way to stimulate hair growth.
Testing the blood for iron levels will reveal whether or not a deficiency exists. However, if you are at the lower end of the “normal” scale you should take over-the-counter iron pills (like Feosol) to help increase your levels.

Women who have excess male hormones due to tumors, medication, polycystic ovary disease, or other causes, may experience the same hair loss patterns seen in men. Occasionally I see women who have hormone-sensitive acne and irregular periods, which are also signs of excess male hormones such as testosterone and DHEAS. Treatment depends on the source of the hormones, but these issues can be helped with birth control pills or a diuretic known as Aldactone.

Since approximately 10 percent of women are taking antidepressants and other prescriptions, medication-induced hair loss is rather common. To determine if the hair loss is related to the medication, it is best to discontinue the drug if possible to see if the hair loss stops. One caution – do not stop taking a prescription drug without consulting the physician who prescribed it.

While the reasons for hair loss are diverse, here are some simple things that you can do to investigate and treat it:
• Try Rogaine. It will help to reverse the hair loss and I frequently encourage my patients to use it.
• If you have hair loss, work with a dermatologist to figure out the underlying cause. In some cases, he or she will do a scalp biopsy to determine what the hair follicles are doing. If your dermatologist wants to do this, it will add a great deal of information.
• Be observant. Hair becomes less dense as we age and if your hair looks about the same as other people your age, there is probably nothing bad going on. However, if you notice a sudden change in the density or texture or it starts shedding in a way that it has never done before it is wise to consult a dermatologist.

There are many treatments for hair loss but having an understanding of why the loss occurred can help you choose the most appropriate for you.

To learn more about Dr. Beer, visit www.idealskin.com and www.palmbeachcosmetic.com.




© HealthDay

   
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Hair loss in women can have profound psychological consequences often resulting in low self esteem and depression. The reasons behind it are diverse, and while some causes are non-reversible, many cases of hair loss in women can be helped.
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2012-02-07
Thursday, 07 Jun 2012 11:02 AM
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