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Alopecia Specialist

Aesthetic and Clinical Dermatology Associates

Aesthetics and Dermatology located in Hinsdale, IL & Saint Charles, IL

Hair loss (alopecia) can be a distressing experience and could be a symptom of an underlying health problem. If you have alopecia, the expert dermatologists at Aesthetic and Clinical Dermatology Associates can help. At their offices in Hinsdale and Saint Charles, Illinois, they offer effective treatments for hair loss in both men and women. For specialized treatment of alopecia, call the office nearest you today or request an appointment online.

Alopecia Q & A

What is alopecia?

Alopecia is hair loss. It’s normal to lose 50-100 hairs each day, but new hairs grow out to replace them, so it’s not usually noticeable. The problem occurs when no new hair replaces the hair you’ve lost.

There are several kinds of alopecia:

Male-pattern baldness

It's most common for men to find they’re losing hair from their forehead.

Female-pattern baldness

Women are more likely to start losing hair along their part. Aesthetic and Clinical Dermatology Associates’ Melanie Zahner, MD, specializes in hair loss in women.

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is patchy hair loss caused by an immune system disorder.

Traction alopecia

Constant stress on your hair can cause traction alopecia.

Frontal fibrosing alopecia

Frontal fibrosing alopecia affects menopausal women, causing their hairline to recede.

As well as hair loss, you might have itchy or painful skin. You could suffer from alopecia on your head or your body. Men are more likely to have alopecia, but the condition does affect a significant number of women.

What causes alopecia?

The leading cause of hair loss is androgenic alopecia (male- and female-pattern baldness). This is something you inherit from your parents.

Other causes of alopecia include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Thyroid disease
  • Ringworm and other scalp infections  
  • Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder)
  • Medication side effects
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Extreme stress or shock
  • Pigtails and cornrows
  • Hot-oil hair treatments

Things like your age, underlying medical conditions, and poor nutrition can increase your chances of suffering alopecia.

How is alopecia diagnosed?

The Aesthetic and Clinical Dermatology Associates team begins by examining your hair and doing routine health checks. They ask about your medical and family histories, diet, and how you groom your hair.

You might need to undergo some tests to confirm the cause of your alopecia. Blood tests can help detect diseases like thyroid disorders that can cause hair loss. Your provider might also do a scalp biopsy, taking skin samples or hair with roots for lab analysis. Light microscopy can identify hair shaft disorders.

How is alopecia treated?

Some kinds of alopecia are temporary, so your hair grows back naturally. Treating underlying health conditions like a thyroid imbalance, menopause, and diabetes is also important. If medications are causing your alopecia, you’ll need to discuss changing your prescription.

Topical treatments like minoxidil (Rogaine®) can help with hair regrowth. You can take one of several oral medications, including finasteride (Propecia®), spironolactone (Carospir®, Aldactone®), and dutasteride (Avodart®).

Newer treatments include laser therapy and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections. If none of these treatments works, you might want to consider hair transplant surgery.

To find the cause of your alopecia and get the proper treatment, call the Aesthetic and Clinical Dermatology Associates office nearest you today or request an appointment online.