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HAIR LOSS

What is alopecia and is there a cure for male pattern baldness?

Find out more information about the hair loss condition and whether it is treatable

HISTORY dictates that hair is seen as a sign of social significance with flowing locks indicating good health and youth.

However some people experience hair loss, which is known was alopecia, and is a condition some people find difficult to come to terms with.

 Alopecia is a condition many people struggle to deal with.
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Alopecia is a condition many people struggle to deal with.
 There are many types of hair loss but the most common is male and female pattern baldness
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There are many types of hair loss but the most common is male and female pattern baldness

MALE AND FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS

This is the most common type or hair loss and affects around half of all men by 50 years of age.

It usually starts around the late twenties or early thirties and most men have some degree of hair loss by their late thirties.

It generally follows a pattern of a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples, leaving a horseshoe shape around the back and sides of the head.

Male-pattern baldness is hereditary, which means it runs in families and thought to be caused by oversensitive hair follicles.

As well as affecting men, it can sometimes affect women and the hair usually only thins on top of the head.

It's not clear if it is hereditary and the causes are less well understood.

ALOPECIA AREATA

This particular condition causes patches of baldness about the size of a large coin.

They usually appear on the scalp but can occur anywhere on the body.

In most cases of alopecia areata, hair will grow back in a few months.

At first, hair may grow back fine and white, but over time it should thicken and regain its normal colour. Some people go on to develop a more severe form of hair loss, such as alopecia totalis (no scalp hair) and alopecia universalis (no hair on the scalp and body)

Alopecia areata is caused by a problem with the immune system and it is more common among people who have an anoveractive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes or Down's syndrome.

It can occur at any age, but mostly affects teenagers and young adults.

 Treatment for some types of alopecia such as male and female pattern baldness is not necessarily needed
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Treatment for some types of alopecia such as male and female pattern baldness is not necessarily needed
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TREATMENT

For the more common types of hair loss, such as male and female pattern baldness, treatment is not necessarily needed because it is a natural part of ageing.

However there are possible treatments which can be explored and anyone concerned should speak to their GP.

Alopecia areata is usually treated with steroid injections, although it's sometimes possible to use a steroid cream, gel or ointment.

However there could be a cure for baldness on the horizon after a new drug was discovered.

The drug ruxolitinib triggered regrowth of hair in the majority of patients with alopecia, hailed as a first step towards tackling pattern baldness


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