Bald patches on the scalp! When the scalp area loses its hair in patches, it is certainly a cause of concern. It could well indicate the symptom of an underlying condition. Patches of hairless pattern is no more an old age phenomenon but can also be seen in younger generation in the age group of 15-30. Sometimes, these round areas devoid of hair are not restricted to the scalp but can also affect the beard.
What Causes Patchy Hair Loss
Rubbing the scalp unnecessarily, is one of the many factors that cause patchy hair loss. Stress induced hair loss, which is quite common in today's hectic lifestyle, also occurs in the form of bald patches. Other factors are listed below:
Patchy hair loss can also occur as a side effect of certain medicines. It is especially observed in people who have undergone chemotherapy, drugs used to treat cancer patients. Other drugs such as Elmiron used to reduce bladder pain or dienestrol can lead to the development of bald areas on the scalp.
This is one of the common causes of patchy hair loss in women. Too much use of the shampoo on a daily basis can certainly bring hair loss in the form of bald patches on the scalp. Using inappropriate shampoos that contain harsh chemicals can also lead to this hair problem. Read more on female hair loss.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that can be one of the causes of patchy hair loss in men and women. This typical baldness pattern is considered to be one of the symptoms of syphilis. A person affected with this STD shows multiple, round syphilis sores on the vaginal, anal or the rectum area. The secondary stage of syphilis is characterized by formation of rash that may occur anywhere on the body, including the feet and is accompanied by other health issues like fever, unexplained weight loss, sore throat and round patches on the scalp devoid of hair.
Coin shaped bald patches on the scalp and beard are commonly observed in people diagnosed with alopecia areata. Although alopecia can affect any part of the skin, it usually strikes the scalp. Initially, one or two round patches of hair loss may be seen but as the disease progresses, multiple circular bald patterns are noticed. Alopecia areata is not gender biased and can affect both men and women. What causes alopecia areata? Doctors are of the opinion that it is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system causes harm to its own hair follicles. A hair follicle is a tubular sac like structure that holds the hair root. So, any damage to the hair follicle interferes with hair growth and eventually brings baldness in that area. Therefore a faulty immune system is likely to bring this hair loss condition. Some doctors say that it can also be hereditary and can run in the family. Health problems like hormonal imbalance and rheumatoid arthritis can also cause alopecia areata. Read more on alopecia areata cure.
Thyroid disorders that involve overproduction or insufficient production of the thyroid hormone, can also lead to patchy hair loss condition on the scalp. Under active thyroid glands fail to release the required amount of hormones where as overactive thyroid gland produce the hormone excessively, resulting in bald spots on the scalp.
Treating the underlying cause is the key to overcome patchy hair loss condition. In case of alopecia areata, corticosteroids injections are administered into the bald areas of the scalp. Basically corticosteroids help to stop the immune system attacking its own hair follicles, by suppressing it. These injections restore normal hair growth and one may see the difference within 3-4 weeks. Medications like L – thyroxine, beta blockers and iodide are commonly prescribed to treat thyroid problems.