Alopecia simply refers to hair loss and sometimes baldness. Reports show that around 40% of men and 25% of women may suffer from alopecia. In Ireland, according to a survey, around 50% of men below 30 years old claim they are experiencing hair loss. This is almost 20% higher than the reported statistics in this age bracket. Meanwhile, a separate report says around 25% of Irish women suffer from hair loss.
Experts believe that the figures could be higher than what is currently known. This belief is primarily rooted on the fact that a handful of people suffering from hair loss do not seek professional help.
It is not clear why some alopecia sufferers do not see a dermatologist. Some surmise that this can be because of the stigma associated with balding or thinning hair. Many still consider having a full head of hair as a criterion for attractiveness. With this prevailing view, those who suffer from hair loss become embarrassed and oftentimes, struggle with their self-image and confidence. Consequently, they keep their problem to themselves.
Other experts also believe that the lack of awareness about available treatments for alopecia is one of the reasons why many sufferers do not get professional help. Proof of this is one study which claimed that around 75% of British think that hair loss is not preventable. This may explain why some opt not to see their doctors because they believe that nothing can be done about it. In addition, the same study stated that almost 90% of British men think that there are no treatments for alopecia.
Is There a Cure for Alopecia?
Are the men surveyed right that alopecia cannot be prevented? Moreover, is there really no treatment for alopecia?
Hair loss is brought about by a variety of factors: genetics, illnesses, nutritional deficiencies, environmental stressors, etc. People with parents who have androgenic alopecia are genetically predisposed to experience the same thing. Also called male or female pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia is the leading cause of hair loss in both men and women. This type of hair loss cannot be avoided, but there are treatments which can prevent it from rapidly progressing.
Many other types of alopecia are not yet fully understood. Hence, it is not possible to say if they can be prevented or not. For example, alopecia areata, a hair loss condition which is believed to affect 147 million worldwide, remains a mystery to many scientists, particularly in terms of why some suffer from it and others do not. Moreover, it is not yet understood why some cases of alopecia areata progress to alopecia universalis, a condition wherein hair all over the body is lost.
Is there a treatment for alopecia? Some alopecia, like those due to telogen effluvium and trichotillomania, are not permanent. Then, there are those which do not go away like alopecia areata. However, treatments are available for these so-called non-curable of permanent alopecia.
Treatments for alopecia mainly focus on preventing the problem from progressing and promoting hair regrowth in the affected areas. The treatments may involve topical medicines, shots or pills. The type or kind of treatment depends on the severity of the hair loss.
It is important to note that early treatment is crucial when it comes to alopecia. With early treatment, the chance of the hair loss worsening is minimised. For example, in telogen effluvium, getting immediate treatment is highly recommended to prevent the condition from worsening. When not treated immediately, it can lead to follicle scarring which can eventually result in permanent hair loss.
So, if you observe signs of hair loss like bald patches, thinning hair or excessive and prolonged hair shedding, see a dermatologist right away. Finding professional help should not be difficult as clinics in Dublin specialising in alopecia treatment are available. Furthermore, there are also support groups which can help you better deal with your alopecia.
Looking for alopecia treatments? Our clinic is trusted when it comes to treating alopecia in Dublin. Call us at (0)1 6793618 and schedule an appoint with our dermatologist.