Doctors can diagnosis, determine the cause of and treat hair loss by looking at your head, scalp and hair, and by asking medical questions regarding recent and current illnesses and medications that you have used. Doctors use both the Hamilton and the Ludwig classification charts when classifying the hair loss. If the doctor is uncertain about the cause of the hair loss there may be blood tests ordered or a biopsy of the scalp. Skin problems can lead to hair loss, so the doctor may have to do further evaluation regarding skin conditions. A microscopic examination of tissue from your scalp may help the doctor to diagnose a fungal scalp infection. Lupus is another skin condition that may affect hair loss.
Treating hair loss will depend upon the cause. Causes can vary as well as present several factors such as stress, poor appetite, medication adverse effect, and the presence of disease. If illness is a factor, treating the disease usually will clear up the hair loss.
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Treatment may include medications, therapy for stress, proper diet, and also medications. Hairpieces, new hairstyles, replacement hair and artificial hair are all options. Your doctor may prescribe Propecia, Proscar, Rogaine, Loniten, even testosterone depending on the diagnosis. It is important to read all medication labels, follow advice from the doctor or pharmacist. You may want to speak with your doctor about hair transplants where the doctor take a plug of hair from other areas of your scalp and transplant the hair to the thinning area. Scalp rotation can be done for children but not for adults, as adults do not respond well to scalp rotation. Your doctor will ask you to make follow-up appointments to gage how you are responding to treatment.
Your doctor may speak with you about preventing future hair loss. You may be able to make lifestyle changes that may improve the condition of your hair such as changing to a shampoo that does not contain soap, not overusing hair dryers, hair dyes, styling products or curling irons which can all irritate or inflame the scalp, or cause breakage to your hair.
Your doctor may also speak with you about your diet and any stress in your life as these two factors can also influence hair loss. If your diet is lacking in nutrition, your doctor may refer you to a licensed dietician or a nutritionist. Psychological counseling may be prescribed for you if stress is determined to be causing your hair loss.
Your doctor can guide you when it comes to self-help changes such as what hair care products to use, minimizing damage to your hair when using styling equipment and treatments, and improving your diet. If need be, your doctor can explore other medical possibilities for the cause of your hair loss.