Introduction to Patchy Hair LossPeople are very sensitive to hair loss in general. Men usually lose their hair in a specific manner while women do not usually develop a complete loss of hair but they suffer from hair thinning. Still, in some cases loss of hair may develop in a patchy pattern. This type of hair loss is associated with many conditions and in majority of cases is treatable. With suitable treatment lost hair regrows again. Patchy hair loss affects people of all ages and it does not have to be restricted only to the scalp. In men patchy hair loss may also affect the beard.
What Are Causes of Patchy Hair Loss?
There are many illnesses associated with patchy hair loss. For example the condition may develop due to many different autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders or is connected with the intake of certain medications.
Patchy hair loss may result from intake of certain drugs or due to the presence of certain toxins in the body. Chemotherapeutics are drugs used in patients suffering from cancer. Many of them cause hair loss which can develop in a form of patchy hair loss. The condition may also result from occupational exposure to certain toxins. And finally, an overdose of vitamin A is another potential cause of hair loss.
Infections represent another potential cause of patchy hair loss. Namely, different infective agents mat cause skin infection and inflammation of the scalp. As a result hair can fall out in a patchy manner. Once the condition is diagnosed and appropriate therapy initiated hair loss improves and bold areas become hairy again. Tuberculosis and syphilis are only two examples of infections that cause patchy hair loss.
There are several autoimmune diseases associated with patchy hair loss. The most common one is alopecia areata. In alopecia areata the scalp is the most commonly affected part of the body. Initially there are one or two round patches while progression of the disease may lead to formation of multiple circular bald patches. Apart from alopecia, lupus is another autoimmune disease capable of causing patchy hair loss.
When it comes to metabolic disorders, patchy hair loss usually affects people suffering from hypothyroidism. And finally, this type of hair loss is typical for people suffering from trichotillomania, a disorder in which the person pulls out his/her hair one stand at a time. This disorder is considered a nervous habit and since there is no actual disease or problem with hair growth the lost hair soon regrows.