Most healthy people can shed anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. From the stray pieces of hair we find everywhere from the pillowcase to our clothes and hairbrushes on a daily basis, the hair follicles shed old hair to make room for new growth just like our skin. Hair loss occurs when new hair does not grow in to replace the old strands. Dr. Rebecca Kelso and Dr. Emily Fridlington, dermatologists at Alamo Heights Dermatology in San Antonio, TX, offer treatment options for hair loss.
Hair Loss or Shedding — What is the Difference?
If you notice that you are shedding more hair than usual, it could indicate a number of issues but is not necessarily the same thing as hair loss. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are a number of factors that can cause a person to temporarily shed more hair than normal, including:
- Significant weight loss (at least 20 pounds)
- Fever or illness
- Going off birth control pills
In many cases, the factors that contribute to excessive shedding are temporary, and it eventually resolves on its own as the body adjusts or returns to normal. Even with excessive shedding (known as telogen effluvium), new hair continues to grow. With hair loss (known as anagen effluvium), new hair stops growing. Some of the most common factors that contribute to hair loss in men and women include:
- Immune problems (alopecia)
- Scar tissue in the hair follicle
- Cancer treatment with chemotherapy and radiation
- Other medications like blood thinners, steroids, or birth control
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Childbirth/menopause (due to hormonal fluctuations)
Hair Loss Treatment in San Antonio, TX
As with excessive shedding, some conditions that contribute to hair loss are temporary, and normal hair growth can resume after the cause is no longer present, such as chemo treatments and stress or nutritional problems. For hair loss that is not caused by temporary medical or lifestyle factors, a dermatologist can recommend treatment with medication, or topical laser treatments depending on the cause of the hair loss.
Find a Dermatologist in San Antonio, TX
If you are experiencing thinning and/or hair loss, contact our office today by calling (210) 255-8447 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kelso or Dr. Fridlington.