Alopecia also known as baldness means loss of hair from the head or from the body.
Types of alopecia
Non scarring alopecia
- After puberty in males, later in females
- presents as gradually thinning of hair at the hairline or on vertex
- Diffuse scalp hair loss following pregnancy, change in birth control pills, stress, medications
Diffuse hair loss, as in telogen effluvium, but more rapid and pronounced
Usually caused by antineoplastic agents
- May associated with autoimmune disease
- Hair loss in localized rounded patches
Pseudopelade of brocq
- Presents with smooth, shiny, hairless scalp patches with absence of hair follicles
- Primary or end stage inflammatory disease condition
Discoid lupus erythematosus
- Inflammatory response to ingrown beard
- Occurs in the scalp or beard
- Merging of pustular hair follicle
- Boggy subcutaneous chronic scalp inflammation/infection
Neoplasms and infections
Scleroderma, lymphoma, and Sarcoidosis may manifest as a scarring hair loss.
Causes of alopecia
Generally immune system protects our body from foreign substances, such as bacteria, and viruses, in alopecia the white bold cells of immune system attack the rapidly growing cells in the hair follicle. The hair production slows and follicles shrink.
Causes of alopecia mainly include
- Medical conditions – such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, lupus, anorexia, anemia, ringworm, infections
- Faulty nutrition- (iron, or protein deficiency)
- Medical treatments – such as chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, antidepressants, antihypertensive drugs, blood thinners
- Stress conditions
- Hormonal changes as in the period of pregnancy, after child birth, and during menopause.
- Using much chemicals or hair dye
- Frequent and excessive shampooing
- Combing hair when wet
Diagnosis and treatment of alopecia
Diagnosis of alopecia is usually based on appearance and pattern of hair loss. A skin biopsy may be required to diagnose other reason behind alopecia.
Some medications may help hair grow back, at least temporarily; however none of these treatments have been found to prevent hair loss. Treatment of alopecia mainly includes local application of corticosteroids, anti inflammatory drugs to suppress immune system.
Other treatments include causing a irritant or allergic reaction to promote hair growth; drugs treatments; and photo-chemotherapy in which a person is give a light sensitive drug, then is exposed to a ultraviolet light source. This treatment has found to promote hair growth, but risk of skin cancer is also involved in this.
Homeopathic treatment of alopecia
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat alopecia but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat alopecia that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of alopecia:
Acidum flour – alopecia of old age or a prematurely aged due to syphilis, falling of hair in patches, hair fall due to typhoid fever
Selenium met – falling of hair of head, eyebrows, eyelashes and other part of the body
Arsenic album – alopecia due to use of metallic arsenic, scalp itches intolerable. Circular patches of bare spots, hair fall in debilitated persons.
Silicea – for premature alopecia
Natrum Mur – falling of hair after delivery, of a child its nursing
Sepia – falling of hair in pregnancy
Pix liquida – alopecia due to diseases of scalp, Intense scratching of scalp which bleeds on scratching
Thuja – chronic baldness due to dandruff, much itching of the scalp
Graphites – herpetic dandruff, scalp scaly with much itching, burning on vertex, falling of hair
Mancinella – loss of hair after a severe acute disease
Phosphorous – hair fall copious, falls out in clouds, itching of scalp, falling of hair in bunches
Vinca minor – hair loss, sharp and well defined, circumscribed patches which leave the scalp smooth and white or gray hair may grow on the bald spots like white wool.
Psorinum – hair fall with much dandruff, dandruff smells badly
Wiesbaden – the hair grows rapidly and become darker by the use of this remedy.
Ferrum phos – falling of hair from head due to anemia
Sanicula – scaly dandruff all over the scalp, eye brows, and other hairy parts
Acid phos – hair fall after an exhausting disease, hair fall from head, eyebrows, and eyelashes
Calcaria phos – falling of hair in bunches on combing
Lachesis – hair fall during pregnancy
Ammonium Mur – falling of hair with dandruff
Ustilago – baldness due to syphilis
Kali carb – hair fall due to dandruff and dryness of scalp
Sulphur – hair fall in nursing women
Nitric acid- hair fall due to syphilis or gonorrhea
Medorrhinum – falling of hair with itching of scalp
Carbo veg – hair fall during pregnancy
Sphingurus mar. – falling of hair from the beard