alopecia
ALOPECIA

Alopecia is an involuntary loss of hair usually in the scalp that may occur anywhere over the body.
Scarring alopecia is severe inflammation of the hair follicle result in irreversible damage.
Non-scarring alopecias are reversible.
Alopecia may  be abrupt or gradual in onset.
Most common causes include androgenic alopecia (male & female pattern baldness) & alopecia areata.
History should be reviewed for medications, severe diet restriction, vitamin A supplementation, thyroid symptoms, concomitant illness & stress factor.

Patient Education

Androgenic Alopecia (Males and Females)
  • Androgenic alopecia affects a large percentage of the population
  • Educate the patient on his/her treatment options
    • Patients may choose not to treat when presented with their options
  • Provide reassurance and supportive counseling to assist them in overcoming their hair loss
  • Patient may use hairstyling techniques (eg hair spray, teasing, coloring, etc) as a way of dealing with hair loss
    • Frequent shampooing does not increase hair loss
    • Avoidance of hair care products likely to damage scalp or hair
  • Adequate diet, especially one with adequate protein
    • National Institute of Health recommendation: 0.8 g/kg daily
  • Discontinue drugs that could negatively affect hair growth
Alopecia Areata
  • It is important to educate patient about alopecia areata
    • Autoimmune disease where the trigger factors are unknown
    • Treatment options are palliative and do not alter the ultimate course of the disease
    • Alopecia areata is a dynamic condition and quite often undergoes spontaneous resolution
  • Explain to patient that the condition does not affect one’s general health
  • Provide psychosocial support
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