Treatment Options for Trichotillomania

Unlike the other diseases we’ve recently detailed on our blog, today we’re going to discuss a mental ailment. Trichotillomania is a mental disorder that can result in patchy bald spots on the scalp and hair loss on other parts of the body. As such, the emotional and social effects of the disease are often debilitating.

Also known as hair-pulling disorder, trichotillomania causes a repeated, irresistible urge to pull out one’s own hair. This is not limited to the hair on the head, but can also include eyebrows or hair on other parts of the body. People with trichotillomania are unable to stop themselves from pulling out their hair, despite wanting and trying to.

trichotillomania

There is no known cause for trichotillomania, but certain factors – such as age, family history and stress level – may increase the risk of diagnosis. Some infants engage in hair-pulling, but it usually goes away naturally as they age. Pre-teens between 10 and 13 are most likely to be diagnosed with trichotillomania, and people with a family history of the disease tend to be more prone to the disease.

Trichotillomania varies in severity – often, it is mild and manageable, but in many cases, the need to pull out hair is severe and overpowering. Some people pull hair intentionally, as a way of dealing with stress and tension. Many have elaborate rituals for hair-pulling. Alternatively, some people pull out hair automatically, without realizing that they’re doing it. This often occurs during times of boredom or inactivity.

There are treatment options, including therapy and antidepressants or other medications. Often, the loss of hair can lead to additional stress, making it important to treat the hair loss in addition to the underlying disease. Wigs or hair systems, as well as rejuvenation and micro point solutions may help to relieve some of the emotional impact of trichotillomania.

If you’re suffering from trichotillomania, get in touch with our discrete Minneapolis hair restoration salon to discuss your options.

All About Alopecia Areata

In our two-part series on diseases that can cause hair loss, we briefly discussed alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Because alopecia areata is such a common cause of patchy hair loss and thinning hair, we thought it deserved a more in-depth discussion.

Although alopecia areata – which is more commonly referred to as simply alopecia – is relatively well-known, there are several aspects of the disease that are less commonly known or understood. We’ll focus on those in this post.

alopecia areata

First, alopecia areata does not only cause the loss of hair on the head. It can also cause hair on the face and, occasionally, other parts of the body.

Second, alopecia areata often makes its first appearance during childhood. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with the disease is around 2 percent.

Third, alopecia areata is fairly common. It affects people of all ages and ethnic groups, and both men and women are at risk. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation estimates that as many as 6.8 million people in the United States have the disease.

Fourth, as a “polygenic disease,” both parents must contribute a set number of specific genes in order for their child to develop alopecia areata. Therefore, it is not a given that a parent with the disease will pass it to their children. It is also believed to be influenced by environmental factors, which makes the genetic risks of the disease more difficult to predict.

Finally, alopecia areata usually does not cause complete hair loss, but instead, causes hair to fall out in patches. (There is one form of the disease, called alopecia totalis, that does cause total hair loss, but that is less common.) The hair follicles remain alive, leaving the possibility of hair regrowth. In many cases, however, the disease often prevents hair from regrowing where it was previously lost, and hair that does regrow may fall out once again. This is where our Minneapolis hair restoration experts come in.

At DK International, we offer a variety of hair replacement services, including hairsystems, hair extensions, wigs and hair solutions. We can customize a solution to fit your budget and needs. Give our Bloomington, MN hair restoration experts a call to set up a free consultation.

Is Your Hair Loss a Symptom of Disease? (Part Two)

In our previous post, we covered a few of the diseases and disorders that can cause and contribute to hair loss. We’ll continue that series today by discussing three more.

 

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

When people talk about lupus, they are typically referring to systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, as it’s the most common form of lupus. SLE is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks various parts of the body, thinking it’s fighting a foreign intruder. Hair loss is just one of the many symptoms of SLE, which vary depending on which part of the body the immune system attacks. SLE affects women more commonly than men.

hair loss diseases

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal glands – which are located on top of the kidneys – don’t produce enough cortisol (which regulate the body’s reaction to stress) and aldosterone (which regulates sodium and potassium). Symptoms of the disease include hair loss, fatigue, muscle weakness, weight loss, low blood sugar, nausea and vomiting, irritability, depression and more. If Addison’s disease goes untreated, it can become life-threatening.

 

Systemic Sclerosis

Systemic sclerosis, or SS, is an autoimmune disorder in which collagen production is increased. This results in changes to the appearance and texture of skin, and possible harm to internal organs, muscles, blood vessels and the digestive system. Symptoms include hair loss, joint pain, calcium deposits or dilated blood vessels under the skin, diarrhea or constipation, and shortness of breath. SS may also be called scleroderma or CREST syndrome.

 

As you can see, hair loss is often one of the first symptoms of a wide variety of autoimmune disorders and other diseases. If you begin to notice hair loss, the first and most important thing to do is visit your doctor. If your hair loss is persistent or permanent, please get in touch with our Minnesota hair restoration and replacement service to discuss your options. At our discreet Minneapolis-area salon, we can discuss wigs, extensions, hairsystems and other hair replacement solutions that may be right for you.

Is Your Hair Loss a Symptom of Disease? (Part One)

On our blog, we’ve previously discussed thyroid disease (which includes hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease and others) and discussed how the disease could potentially cause hair loss. Unfortunately, thyroid disease is not the only ailment that can cause or worsen hair loss. There are a host of diseases that can impact hair health, and we’ll discuss a few in this two-part series.

diseases that cause hair loss

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks hair follicles, causing hair – usually on the scalp, but possibly on other areas of the body as well – to fall out in small patches. While alopecia areata usually does not result in complete hair loss, it may prevent hair from regrowing where it was lost. Even if the hair does grow back, it may fall out again.

There is no cure for alopecia areata, but there may be ways to regrow hair. Talk to one of our Minneapolis hair restoration experts to discuss your options.

 

Syphilis

Syphilis can be difficult to diagnose – it’s possible to have the disease for several years without showing any symptoms. This can cause it to be transmitted more often. More than 56,000 cases were reported in 2013, according to the CDC, making syphilis a fairly common disease.

Syphilis has four stages, and it is during the second stage that skin rashes and hair loss is common. These symptoms will go away regardless of whether you receive treatment, but it’s important to see your doctor and get treated before more serious and permanent harm is done.

 

Hypopituitarism

More often referred to as an underactive pituitary gland, hypopituitarism occurs when the pituitary gland – which is located on the underside of the brain – fails to release enough hormones. Underlying causes of hypopituitarism include brain, pituitary gland or hypothalamus tumors, or other diseases such as tuberculosis, stroke, sarcoidosis, hemochromatosis or others. In some cases, the cause may not be known.

Because there is no single causes of hypopituitarism, there is no set course of treatment. The disease is treated on a case by case basis, with an ultimate goal of restoring hormone levels.

 

Stay tuned for part two to learn more about diseases that cause and worsen hair loss.

 

If you’re dealing with hair loss, contact our discrete Bloomington, Minnesota hair restoration salon and schedule a free consultation. We carry a wide variety of hair systems, wigs, hair extensions and more. Our hair replacement professionals can help you to find the best solution for you.

Thyroid Disease and Hair Loss

Thyroid disease is a blanket term that covers a variety of ailments, including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, thyroid cancer and others. It is estimated that between 27 and 60 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease, but, unfortunately, the majority go undiagnosed. Women are more likely to be thyroid patients than men.

Hair loss is often one of the first indicators of thyroid disease. In fact, it’s not uncommon for an underlying thyroid problem to first be uncovered by a hairdresser! If you’re experiencing hair loss or changes to your hair caused by thyroid disease, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reverse your hair loss.

thyroid disease and hair loss

Evaluate your medication

Unfortunately, hair loss is a common side effect of many of the hormone replacement medications prescribed to treat thyroid disease – specifically, lecothyroxine (which has many name brand forms). If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor about switching to a different medication or adding a second drug.

Hair loss is also commonly caused by undertreatment or mistreatment of thyroid disease. Don’t be afraid to speak up or get a second opinion if you think this is the case.

Visit a dermatologist

It’s possible that your hair loss is caused by something other than thyroid disease. A dermatologist that specializes in hair loss can run tests to determine the cause, and help identify new treatment methods. Just be sure to bring a copy of your medical records so the dermatologist can see what you’ve been diagnosed with and prescribed.

Adjust your diet

Loading your diet with iron, lysine and other vitamins and minerals, along with plenty of healthy fat, can give your hair a boost.

Look into hair replacement

Extensions, wigs and other hair replacement and restoration products can help you look and feel like yourself again as you work to treat your thyroid disease.

 

If you’re experiencing hair loss caused by an autoimmune disease, contact our experienced Minneapolis hair replacement professionals to schedule a consultation at our discrete and comfortable Bloomington hair restoration salon.