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Alopecia types

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Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA)

Androgenetic Alopecia is often called pattern alopecia. This condition is the most common type of baldness worldwide. In 95% of cases hair loss issues are linked to androgenetic alopecia.

Genetics, aging or hormone-related causes are often at the origin of hair loss and men are usually more affected than women, though patients of both genders are attended every year. First symptoms often show up after puberty.

Tipos alopecia - Alopecia androgenética mujer

Androgenetic Alopecia in more likely to affect men than women.

Androgenetic Alopecia in men: the causes

A reduction in masculine hormones like the testosterone for example is the main cause for hair loss. When patients also present a family history of alopecia then the risk to develop this condition is increased.

The number of follicles goes down gradually and the hair is also thinner and shorter till the scalp turns completely bald.

As patients age, follicle degeneration is additionally increased.

Androgenetic Alopecia in Men: Symptoms and Factors

The hair loss process usually starts at the temple after puberty. Sometimes, this hair debilitating process is temporary and stops naturally though it usually starts to affect the fontal hairline and the crown, producing a characteristic “M” shape.

The whole process varies from one patient to another. Sometimes, the hair recedes for decades though it can also take much less than that.

What is for sure is that androgenetic alopecia is more likely to appear as patients age.

Women suffering from alopecia present localized areas with lesser hair density, usually on the top of the scalp.

Androgenetic Alopecia in Women: the causes

This type of alopecia is caused by diverse factors though. In most cases, hormone levels and genetics play an important part.

  • The role played by hormones

Follicles get thinner and shorter and the hair is also weaker as time goes by.

Androgenetic Alopecia in Women: the symptoms

This hair condition often shows after puberty.

  • Spotting the first symptoms

Hair density usually starts to decrease in the upper areas of the scalp and the crown. Specialists often recommend checking on hair density regularly so comb your hair in two partings to control visually the hair loss evolution. The larger the space between both sides, the more severe the alopecia. This is when the hair looks thinner and thinner and the scalp becomes more and more visible.

tipos alopecia - alopecia frontal fibrosante

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFA)

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFA) is a kind of autoimmune cicatricial alopecia characterized by the destruction of the frontal hairline of the scalp. The pathology can even destroy the eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair on higher and lower limbs. The pathology affects mostly women and is more and more common. Eyebrows disappear and, after that, the frontal line of hair implantation recesses backwards progressively.

The exact causes of Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia have been researched on during the past decades as no treatment seemed to be effective.

The incidence of this particular condition has increased dramatically during the past few years without apparent reason.

Specialists believe however the condition to be triggered by two main factors:

  1. Some hormone-related  disturbance
  2. Some auto-immune inflammatory mechanism
Patients who are more likely to develop alopecia

The major part of cases present occasional effects, though less than 10% of these are actually related to some kind of family antecedents.

Women are more likely than men to be affected, most especially those in their post-menopause stage.

Let’s be quite clear about the whole thing! Both men and women –either with or without menopause- can be affected.

Patients with a specific medical treatment and regular checks often manage to stabilize their FFA.

Specialists need to assess on the particular characteristics of patients –the inflammation degree and extension of the alopecia- before they can establish an individualized treatment plan.

Most common treatments include intra-lesion corticoids and anti-androgens though other therapies use antimalarial drugs.

When hair density loss is considered as really severe, hair transplant techniques can be offered for patients to recover a normal hair density.

Before specialists can do so, the FFA needs to be stabilized with some medical treatment.

Our BHR Clinic Spain experts can provide the best aesthetic solution to respond the patients’ needs in any case.

The FAS technique is a natural and virtually invisible hair prosthesis and one of the best options for FFA patients.

Se trata de la Técnica FAS, un sistema de prótesis capilar totalmente natural e indetectable, si quiere conocerlo todo acerca de esta solución More info

Consult a dermatology specialist whenever in doubt about any of these symptoms. The FFA is an auto-immune pathology and an early diagnostic and treatment plan can make a lot of difference. Due to the very cicatricial aspect of the FFA once the hair falls off the scalp, there is no new hair growth process to hope for which is why experts always advise to get  an early diagnosis.

When the follicles are destroyed and the scar is formed on the scalp, the capillary pore closes definitely and the follicle no longer grows.

Alopecia Areata

Another specific type of alopecia is the Alopecia Areata. This is when the hair falls off in some concrete body or scalp areas.

Patients with alopecia areata lose their hair in round patches of baldness. Partial or total bald areas appear on the scalp.

This kind of hair loss pattern not only affect the scalp but other body areas too.

Tipos alopecia - Alopecia areata

When hair bunches are lost the pathology is often to blame for the appearance of various bald areas.

The condition evolves very quickly.

Apart from the bald areas on the scalp and the body, scars sometimes show up in the affected area. Redness and peelings can also be associated to the condition.

The pathology is painless though some patients feel the affected areas are itchy.

In very rare occasions, the pathology also shows on the nails with some striated and chopped aspect.

It is usually suffered by men or women aged 20 to 50 though, in rare occasions, children can also be affected.

Main inducing factors of this auto-immune pathology are :

  • Chronic infectious issues
  • Stress
  • Genetics

Patients with a family history of Alopecia Areata are more likely to develop the pathology.

Sometimes, the Alopecia Areata shows after a triggering event (pathology, pregnancy or trauma).

Tipos alopecia - Liquen plano pilar

Lichen Planopilaris (LPP)

This is an inflammatory pathology affecting different body areas and tissues (skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes).

Its prevalence is higher in women aged 40 to 60 years old.

Symptoms in patients with Lichen Planopilaris (LPP) are : redness or scalp erythema surrounded by white spots blocking the hair follicle and provoking progressive hair loss.

The most commonly areas affected are the follicles though it also affects other tissues and membranes.

Patients feel significant itching, burning or pain and baldness or hair loss.

Sometimes, the pathology turns permanent when scars and lesions are left untreated provoking some chronic scarring alopecia.

The Lichen Planopilaris (LPP)  usually develops in the fontal areas (forehead and hair line on the sides) and at the back of the scalp.

The Lichen Planopilaris is usually classified in :

  • Normal Lichen Planopilaris
  • Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
  • Graham Little-Piccardi-Lassueur Syndrome

Chemotherapy-induced Alopecia

After some chemotherapy treatment, most patients normally lose their hair. This is commonly known as Chemotherapy-induced Alopecia or Chemotherapy-induced Hair Loss. This side-effect of the treatment occurs because the cells that help hair grow are harmed by chemotherapy. This is one of the most common alopecia types observed in patients.

tipo alopecia - Alopecia por quimioterapia

Chemotherapy affects all body cells, not only the cancerous ones. This is why hair loss can be observed in all body areas : eyelashes, eyebrows, hair located on the lower and upper limbs or on the pubic area.

Not all chemotherapy treatments entail hair loss. Other factors like type of medication used and doses also play their part in the process.

Chemotherapy patients suffer from hair loss, hair weakness…or not.

Hair loss starts…

Hair loss sometimes starts during the first chemotherapy cycle though, in other cases, it starts only after the second cycle.

Hair loss-induced patterns are many:

  • It can be sudden or progressive.
  • It can be complete or partial.
Hair loss is not homogeneous but rather erratic and patients usually lose tufts of them.

Unfortunately, there is still no prevention tip today to avoid hair loss during chemotherapy. Not all patients suffer a hair loss during their treatment.

In most cases, hair loss is temporary and the hair starts to grow normally once the treatment ends.

Usually, hair growth patterns are back to normal after 3 to 6 months.

Sometimes, the hair structure, color, thickness and shape change after chemotherapy.

In very rare occasions, hair loss is permanent. This is one of the chemotherapy effects most patients are frightened of.

At our BHR Clinic Spain centers, we provide a solution for these patients with the FAS Technique.

Alopecia por radioterapia

Radiotherapy-induced Alopecia

Radiotherapy-induced Alopecia looks very much like that induced by chemotherapy treatments. Hair loss is also a side effect of this oncology treatment.

Hair loss usually starts after radiotherapy sessions number 3 and 5.

In most patients, hair growth changes with affectations of the:

  • The colour
  • The thickness
  • The structure
  • The hair form is also sometimes affected: straight or curly hair change from one to the other condition.

Hair thickness or density also changes at times after the treatment. For some alopecia-induced patients, hair growth can also be definitely jeopardized in directly treated areas.

When definite hair loss is diagnosed by specialists, the best aesthetic option is:

The Fixed Hair System (FHS) is used to place fixed hair implants to the scalp. Unlike the more traditional ones, they are tailor-made to respond the need of every patient and made with natural hair.

These can be used for both patients suffering from radiotherapy or chemotherapy-induced alopecia. The technique can be used as an alternative option for patients that are non-eligible for hair implants.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania (pulling out the hair) is often to be blamed for baldness.

Trichotillomania is a compulsive behavior used by patients to pull out their own hair. Baldness has been observed by specialists in scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes.

Alopecia por tricotilomanía

Patients with trichotillomania often suffer from depression or stress. These are the most common inducing factors registered. Trichotillomania patients pull out their hair until no hair is left at all and provoke themselves some severe alopecia on the long term. Trichotillomania is considered as a mental disorder involving irresistible and recurrent urges to pull one’s hair.

It is quite frequent in kids aged about 13 years old, though cases in kids aged 5 to 9 have also been reported.

Teenagers and kids with these habits need be controlled because they are caused most of the time by unusal stress or anxiety : changes in daily habits (going to a new school), conflicts with parents or premature death of a family or friend, for example.

Trichotillomania also has consequences on self-esteem because some patients are bullied due to their physical resulting aspect. Trichotillomania is commonly related to hair loss issues.