Alopecia (Hair Loss)


Get a Fuller Head of Hair with Treatments to Encourage Regrowth in NY

If you have been experiencing gradual thinning of the hair on your head or noticing the development of patchy bald spots, you might be suffering from hair loss—medically known as alopecia. NY-based Hudson Dermatology provides comprehensive medical dermatology care for patients who have this condition, which can cause emotional distress and may even indicate an underlying health issue that should be resolved.

Contacting a dermatologist for hair loss may seem surprising, but our physicians can provide a proper diagnosis for conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails—including hair loss. Once we have determined the cause of your hair loss and established the available alopecia treatment options, you can find a solution that’s best for you.

What Is Alopecia?

It’s normal for adults to lose between 50 to 100 hairs per day. Most people won’t notice, and the loss is part of a hair’s natural life cycle, so it usually isn’t a cause for concern. However, losing too much hair can be a sign of a common genetic conditions—or even an underlying medical condition.

Hair loss—also known as alopecia or baldness—is a condition that causes you to lose hair excessively from your scalp or on the body. Loss of hair from the head can range in severity from mild hair thinning to complete baldness. Some common signs of alopecia include finding abnormally large amounts of hair on brushes, on clothing, or in sinks, generally thinner hair, a widening part, bald spots, or a receding hairline.

There are many possible causes of hair thinning, and some types of alopecia are temporary. Aging, heredity, hormonal changes, stress, cancer treatments, weight loss, iron deficiency, and certain medical conditions can all lead to thinning hair on the scalp.

There are two very broad categories of hair loss: non-scarring and scarring alopecia.

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Non-Scarring Hair Loss

Androgenic Alopecia (Male or Female Pattern Hair Loss)

Hereditary pattern hair loss, which is also known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness, or female pattern hair loss, is the most common type of hair loss worldwide. Despite the focus on men, this alopecia impacts both men and women. Genetics cause hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop growing hairs. Men who have androgenetic alopecia may experience a receding hairline and baldness at the top of the scalp, while women with the condition tend to see their hair thin in general and may notice a widening part.

Telogen Effluvium

Also known as stress-induced hair loss, telogen effluvium can involve up to 70 percent of a person’s hairs falling out in the months after illness or trauma. This type of hair thinning may also be induced by vitamin, nutrient, mineral, or hormone imbalance.

Anagen Effluvium

Many people know that chemotherapy patients lose their hair. Not as many know that this hair loss is called anagen effluvium, a result of shocking the follicles’ typical hair-growing cycles with medication, radiation, and similar treatments.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a disease with a particular symptom: The immune system begins attacking healthy follicles, typically resulting in generally circular or oval bald patches. The problem can occur anywhere hair grows on the body and may entirely resolve on its own or be cyclical.

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia results from a constant pull on the hair, often due to a “tight” hairstyle, such as braids or a bun. The problem can be made worse if your hair is already impacted by chemical or heat used to create specific hairstyles. Hair can be expected to grow back if it is no longer pulled back.

Scarring Hair Loss

Cicatricial alopecia is a range of primary and secondary diseases that damage hair follicles via inflammation, ultimately killing them and leaving scar tissue in their place. No new hairs can be coaxed to grow from scar tissue, so treatment tends to focus on slowing or stopping the problem to preserve as much healthy hair as possible.

YOU DESERVE EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE

Every physician at each of Hudson Dermatology’s six locations is board certified and committed to providing quality skincare built on a foundation of advanced technology and techniques. All treatments—medical and cosmetic—are highly personalized and chosen for their safety and results.

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YOU DESERVE EXCEPTIONAL PATIENT CARE

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What Treatments Are Available for Alopecia?

People sometimes don’t seek treatment for the problem of hair loss—whether due to embarrassment or a fatalistic attitude—but if balding or thinning hair is affecting your wellbeing, you can get help. It should be noted that hair loss treatments are not 100 percent effective, but they can make a dramatic visual difference, especially if started earlier rather than later.

Treatments are beneficial for certain types of alopecia. The Hudson Dermatology team can examine your hair closely, test the health of your hair, accurately diagnose the cause of your hair loss, and work with you to help determine a solution. Sometimes a scalp biopsy or blood test may be necessary.

Hair loss treatments are designed to delay or prevent excessive hair shedding or encourage regrowth. Often, if left untreated, alopecia will continue thinning hair on the scalp and causing bald patches to grow.

Patience

Certain types of hair loss require only time in order to reverse the problem. People who have undergone trauma, chemotherapy patients, and those who lose hair due to wearing tight braids will all see their hair grow back as their body heals.

Medications

Topical minoxidil (Rogaine) is an over-the-counter, non-prescription medication that is available in a liquid or shampoo form and must be used daily for at least six months for optimal results.

Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription drug for men that must be taken daily in an oral tablet form. Active research is being conducted to combat many types of alopecia, and many new medications are in the pipeline.

Hair Transplant Surgery

Another way of addressing alopecia is with hair transplant or hair restoration surgery. This is effective for genetic types of hair loss. Individual hairs are transferred from robust parts of the scalp to balding areas.

Other Treatments for Loss of Hair and Baldness

Some other common methods for preventing loss of hair and improving hair growth include corticosteroid injections or creams for bald patches, low level laser therapy, microneedling with or without platelet rich plasma to stimulate follicles that are dormant due to genetic alopecia, and light treatments. If you’re not getting enough of certain nutrients, we may recommend increasing your intake of iron, zinc, and protein. Ultimately, treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

For more information about hair loss, visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s page on the condition.

Managing Other Hair, Skin and Nail Conditions

Along with hair loss, Hudson Dermatology helps patients with diagnosis, treatment, and symptom management for many other disorders that affect the hair, skin, and nails. Find relief from chronic skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.

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Contact the Hudson Dermatology team now to set up a consultation for androgenic alopecia and other types of hair loss in NY. Dutchess, Westchester, Columbia, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange County residents can schedule an appointment via our online scheduler.

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FULL-SERVICEDERMATOLOGY

With offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, Somers and Tarrytown, Hudson Dermatology offers the highest quality of care centered around medical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, and pediatric skincare. Patients in New York’s Hudson Valley area can depend on the professional team at Hudson Dermatology to satisfy all their medical and cosmetic skincare needs.

FULL-SERVICEDERMATOLOGY

With offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Hudson, Somers and Tarrytown, Hudson Dermatology offers the highest quality of care centered around medical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, and pediatric skincare. Patients in New York’s Hudson Valley area can depend on the professional team at Hudson Dermatology to satisfy all their medical and cosmetic skincare needs.