Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition resulting in hair loss. The immune system of the body mistakenly stops hair growth for unknown reasons. Hair loss may be patchy or sparse and may involve the rest of the body in addition to the scalp. Hair in most people spontaneously regrows, though recurrences of the condition are also typical. Genetic and environmental factors play a role in hair loss; the condition may be seasonal as well.
Female pattern baldness (alopecia) is a form of hair loss affecting women due to an inherited susceptibility. It is most commonly noticed after menopause, although it may begin earlier.Female pattern baldness is due to a combination of a family history of balding (in men or women from either parent's side of the family), aging, and hormones. Female pattern baldness is not due to a vitamin deficiency, poor circulation, dandruff, or wearing hats. There is progressive shrinking of the hair follicles until they produce only a fine, wispy hair or cease functioning.
Male pattern baldness (alopecia), or androgenetic alopecia, is the patterned balding of a man. Although the condition may affect both the appearance and self-esteem of some men, one should note that the condition is not a medical disorder. The hair loss is non-scarring and has a genetic basis. Sex steroids (androgens) – specifically, dihydrotestosterone – play a role in this form of balding.
Folliculitis is a skin condition caused by an inflammation of one or more hair follicles in a limited area. It typically occurs in areas of irritation, such as sites of shaving, skin friction, or rubbing from clothes. In most cases of folliculitis, the inflamed follicles are infected with bacteria, especially with Staphylococcus organisms, that normally live on the skin.The most common factors that contribute to the development of folliculitis include:Irritation from shaving Friction from tight clothing A pre-existing skin condition, such as eczema, acne, or another dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) Injuries to the skin, such as abrasions Extended contact from plastic bandages or adhesive tape
Hot tub rash (Pseudomonas folliculitis) is an infection of the hair follicle with Pseudomonas bacteria. It is most commonly seen in people who bathe in a contaminated spa, swimming pool, or hot tub.Hot tub rash is usually resolved without treatment within 2 weeks.
Pilar (trichilemmal) cysts, sometimes referred to as wens, are common fluid-filled growths (cysts) that form from hair follicles that are most often found on the scalp. The cysts are smooth and mobile, filled with keratin (a protein component found in hair, nails, and skin), and they may or may not be tender. Pilar cysts may run in families. Rarely, these cysts may grow more extensively and form rapidly multiplying (proliferating) pilar tumors (also called proliferating trichilemmal cysts), which are non-cancerous (benign) but may grow aggressively at the cyst site. Very rarely, pilar cysts can become cancerous.
Razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae), also known as shaving bumps, affects men with tightly curved (or curly) hairs. When the tip of hair grows back under the skin or into the hair follicle, it is known as ingrown hair. If ingrown hair causes a reaction in the skin, it is known as razor bumps. Razor bumps is not an infection but rather a "foreign body" reaction, much like the body would react to a splinter of wood in the skin. The condition may be worsened by methods used to achieve a close shave, such as pulling the skin tight while shaving, shaving against the "grain" or direction of hair growth, or using multi-blade razors.
Tinea capitis is the medical term for ringworm, a very common fungal infection, of the scalp. Despite the name, there are no worms involved in scalp ringworm, rather the rash forms a scaly, round patch that sometimes clears or improves in the middle, thus looking like a ring. Ringworm can occur on other parts of the body, but scalp ringworm is commonly seen in children. It is contagious and is acquired by contact with infected people, animals, or objects (such as towels, combs, and pillows). Scalp ringworm should be treated (by a prescription medicine your doctor can prescribe) because it is contagious and because, if left untreated, the affected area can develop hair loss and sometimes another, more serious, infection called a kerion.
Early diagnosis of hair loss is crucial because certain types of hair loss in the category of cicatricial alopecia can result in irreversible damage. To make full use of each dermatology visit, patients can help by being equipped with a basic knowledge on hair loss and an understanding of the goals of your dermatologist during the visit.
Finding presents for all your loved ones can be very stressful this time of year. The stores can get so crowded that you may just want to pull your hair out. Hair loss, however, is no joking matter.
With an estimated 65% of men and 85% of women suffering from some noticeable hair loss by age 60, researchers have long sought a way to help them. Now British and American scientists say they may have found a solution that would actually replace lost hair – rather than just relocating it with transplants or slowing its loss with medication.
Earlier this year I wrote posts that addressed the various options available for treating hyperpigmentation (chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and over-the-counter products). My last post, Laser Therapy 101: Cleaning Up Summer Fun, described laser therapy as an option for treating skin with dark spots and scars made worse by sun damage. But what about dark spots caused by hair growth and our attempts to remove unwanted hair? My next big topic for Laser Therapy 101 is using lasers to remove unwanted or excess hair as well as treat hyperpigmentation and scarring from ingrown hairs caused by shaving (pseudofolliculitis barbae).
Skinsight has decided to give everyone the gift of knowledge with the Twelve Days of Dermatology this holiday season. Each day we will be covering subject matter relating to rashes, skin conditions, and other dermatology topics.
September means back to school – the end of a busy summer vacation season and time for Mom and Dad to relax as the kids are occupied with new friends and activities. Sometimes the close contact that kids have with each other can lend itself to the development of some common childhood skin infections. Here we review some of the more common infections seen in this age group:
If you struggle with controlling acne, you are not alone. Acne can have an extremely negative impact on quality of life because it is usually quite visible. While many cases of teenage acne resolve with age after hormones calm down, for some adults, acne becomes a chronic condition, causing frustration and a never-ending search for “the cure.”
What is melanin you ask? Well, melanin is the substance that gives color to your hair, eyes, and skin. The summer is a great time to celebrate skin health, especially since we show it off more now than in other months. Although all skin types can be troubled with the same skin health issues, some conditions occur more often and/or are more difficult to diagnose in individuals with darker skin. These conditions include: melasma, vitiligo, keloids, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.