Skin Problems
 
Hair and Scalp Treatment

Everyone knows that a dermatologist is a skin specialist. What most people do not know is that a dermatologist is also a hair and nails specialist, treating all problems relating to the hair and scalp as well as the nails.

» Hair Loss Treatment
1. WHAT IS NORMAL HAIR LOSS?

The hair is our crowning glory and most people gets upset when they see strands of hairs in the bathroom floor and the bedroom. But do you know that this is normal?

At any time, it is normal for a person to lose as many as 100-150 hairs a day and these usually show up on a comb or brush or at the bottom of the bathtub or sink especially after washing your hair. These strands of hairs have stopped growing usually 3-4 months ago and they must fall for new growing hairs to replace them.

2. WHAT IS THE HAIR CYCLE?

Every strand of hair grows through a hair cycle which consists of 3 phases, the growing phase, the resting phase and the falling off phase. At any one time 80-90% of the hairs are in the growing phase(the anagen phase) and 10-20% are in the resting phase and falling off phase (the telogen phase). After 3 -4 months the resting hairs fall out and new hairs starts to grow in its place. Each cycle takes 2-5 years. Each hair grows approximately 1 cm per month. Hence it is common to lose up to 100-150 hairs a day as part of the hair cycle.

The hairs that you see on the floor are telogen hairs. It is useless to keep them as telogen hairs are non-growing hairs. What you want is to have new anagen hairs.

3. WHAT IS ABNORMAL HAIR LOSS?

Your hair loss may be abnormal if you are losing more than 100-150 hairs a day or if you see bald patches of scalp or if you noticed hair thinning. Thinning of hair may be seen as a general thinning on the crown or thinning in a specific pattern. Hair loss may be in patches such as a patchy loss of hair over the scalp and other hair bearing areas such as the beard or eyebrows.

4. WHAT IS THE COMMONEST TYPE OF HAIR FALL?



Androgenic alopecia is the commonest cause of hair loss in both men and women and it is commonly known as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss. It is caused by a combination of 3 factors - testoterone (the male hormone), age (after 20 years of age) and hereditary. It usually affects women later in life than men. Every one of us will suffer from this form of hair loss; the onset varies from person to person. There is a definite pattern of hair loss

There is a definite pattern of hair loss in men the hair loss typically follows a pattern with receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head. In women the hair becomes thin over the entire crown.

Treatment includes topical and oral medication, laser treatment and hair transplant

5. WHAT IS ALOPECIA AREATA?



Alopecia areata is a patchy hair loss seen in children and adults. It can be a single patch or multiple patches. Sometimes the eyebrow or beard hairs may be affected. It is an autoimmune condition. In most patients they recover spontaneously. Treatment consists of prescription medication or injections.

6. WHAT IS TRICHOTILLOMANIA?



Trichotillomania is a medical disorder that causes people to repeatedly pull out their own hair. They often feel a constant urge to pull out the hair on the scalp. Sometimes they feel compelled to pull out their eyelashes, nose hairs, eyebrows, and other hairs on their bodies.

7. WHAT CAUSES EXCESSIVE HAIR LOSS?



There are a number of reasons why hair falls excessively in a condition called telogen effluvium. It can occur 3-4 months after a period of physical and emotional stress or illness or post surgery or after crash dieting. During the stressful period hairs move from the anagen into the telogen cycle and the ratio of growing hairs to resting hairs is reversed. Now instead of having 80% of the hairs on your scalp growing, more likely 80% of them have gone into the resting or telogen cycle. Three months later, these telogen hairs will start to fall. It can be quite scary as telogen hairs easily fall off. Just running your fingers through your scalp may result in large amounts of hairs on your hands.

However do not panic. Telogen effluvium is a reversible hair loss. After another three months all the telogen hairs will be replaced by anagen hairs and you get back your full crown of hairs

Many women notice excessive hair loss 3 months after they had a baby. This is related to the high levels of hormones during pregnancy that causes the hair to continue growing and not go into the resting phase. After pregnancy the hormones return to normal levels and the hairs fallout. This is temporary and the normal hair cycle resumes on its own after pregnancy

An overactive or underactive thyroid gland may cause hair to fall out. This hair loss can be stopped by treating the thyroid problem.

8. WHAT ARE THE OTHER CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS?

Hair loss may be part of an underlying disease or due to medication. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners, medicines used for gout, high blood pressure or heart problems, vitamin A (if too much is taken), birth control pills and antidepressants. Anaemia and thyroid disease can cause hair loss.

Fungal infections or bacterial infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in children.

Local scalp diseases can affect the hair roots resulting in scarring and permanent damage to the hair roots. The hairs will not be able grow back on their own.

Certain hairstyles and hair treatments can also cause hair fall. Excessive traction on the hair results in localised hair loss as seen with tight curling and hair styles (corn-braiding, pony-tails).

9. WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS FOR HAIR FALL?

Treatment will depend on what causes the hair fall. If there is an underlying cause such as medication or infection or hormones, removal of the cause will stop further loss. Some hair fall like telogen effluvium does not need treatment. Others like androgenetic alopecia may require medication to slow or prevent further loss.

Be wary of non medical advice in terms of hair treatment and cure. When in doubt, seek the advice of Dr Joyce Lim, a dermatologist.

» Itchy Scalp/Dandruff Treatment
1. WHAT IS DANDRUFF?



Dandruff presents with dry greasy flakes on the scalp, which can often be itchy. It is often related to eczema elsewhere on the face

2. WHAT IS SCALP PSORIASIS?

A condition that resembles a severe dandruff is scalp psoriasis. Unlike dandruff it can extend beyond the scalp and appears on the forehead, and sometimes the back of the neck or behind the ears. Treatment includes medicated shampoo, prescription hair solutions, scales softeners. See Dr Joyce Lim if you are not sure if the scaly scalp is dandruff or psoariasis.
 
...................................................
290 Orchard Road
#11-16/20, Paragon Medical Suites
Singapore 238859
T : 6834 9159
Email: drjoyce@joycelim.com
 
...................................................
290 Orchard Road
#11-16/20, Paragon Medical Suites
Singapore 238859
T : 6834 9159
Email: drjoyce@joycelim.com