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Causes of alopecia

Alopecia is the medical term for balding or loss of hair, which is generally typical of scalp, although there are cases in which it affects other parts of the body as well. When it comes to the loss of hair on the head, this condition is usually more present on one side of the head than on the other. What is important to know is that alopecia is not the same as male pattern baldness and it can affect people of both genders equally. There are several types of alopecia, and the causes are not always the same.

The most common causes of alopecia

  • According to the evidence gathered so far, alopecia areata is most likely caused by certain abnormality of the immune system, which results in autoimmunity. The immune system simply begins to attack certain tissues, which are in this case hair follicles, and this way, the normal growth of hair is disrupted. The real reason why this happens has not been determined yet. In some cases, autoimmune disorders such as vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease are closely related to alopecia areata, while in other cases, genes and heredity are probably the causes, because this problem runs in the family.
  • Cicatricial alopecia is caused by the damage and scarring of the hair follicle, which is a result of some inflammation. However, the trigger of such inflammation has not been determined.
  • Androgenetic alopecia is a result of the shortening of the growth time, which is why the hair loses thickness. Heredity is one of the important factors here, although more in women, while in men, DHT hormone is responsible.
  • Traction alopecia is a result of the damage to the root of the hair due to the too tight pulling. This happens in those who are into excessive hairstyling, and sometimes this damage to the root can even be permanent.

Other possible causes of alopecia

Apart from diseases, a number of other culprits can also cause hair loss. For instance, hormonal changes due to pregnancy, use of birth control pills or some other reason, can also result in the hair loss. Medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation can also contribute to the development of alopecia, although the hair tends to grow again after the end of the treatments like these. Hair treatments that require the use of various chemicals can also result in the damage of the hair if they are not used correctly. Infections of the scalp can cause the loss of hair, although in such cases, both the cause and the consequences can be treated successfully. 

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