Stress is just a part of life, but add in the holidays and it may be at an all-time high. This can result in hair loss or patchiness. At first glance, you may assume this means you’re exceptionally stressed this holiday season. However, stress and alopecia, a condition that makes hair thin or fall out, may be the culprit. It is important to know the difference between stress-induced hair loss and alopecia because they are both treated differently. See how the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help you determine the difference and find treatment options.
Stress can affect everyone in different ways and often depends on the level of stress you are dealing with. Near the holidays, stress can be higher than normal, causing unusual occurrences such as weight loss, hair loss or acne, just to name a few. The main difference between stress and alopecia is that those symptoms eventually go away as the stress decreases. Your appetite will come back, your hair will not fall out and acne will be kept at bay the calmer your life becomes.
Alopecia won’t just go away. It’s an autoimmune skin disease, resulting in hair loss. Unlike stress-related hair loss, alopecia often begins in childhood and is caused from different factors. Because it is an autoimmune disease, healthy hair follicles are attacked by the body. This attack results in hair loss on the scalp and face. Hair loss can occur in small patches on the face or scalp, just one side of the scalp or significant hair loss in a short amount of time. It can affect people of all ages, all ethnicities and all genders. Hair regrowth may occur in some cases, and in other cases it may not regrow. A variety of treatment options are available.
Alopecia treatments are effective for some people and not effective for others based on a variety of factors. Each treatment option aims to stop the healthy hair follicles from being attacked while encouraging hair growth. For those with mild alopecia, corticosteroid injections can help. It is injected into patches of skin where the hair has fallen out, once every one to two months. Results are often seen within one month of the injection. Although this helps hair growth, it does not stop hair loss. Anthralin cream also helps mild alopecia cases. The cream is applied to the patches of hair loss and then is washed off one hour later. New hair growth appears in two to four months. Lastly, topical corticosteroids can help with mild alopecia. It helps to decrease inflammation around the hair follicle and is known to improve hair regrowth.
For those with severe alopecia, oral corticosteroids may be used. Instead of injections, it is taken orally to stimulate hair growth. Topical immunotherapy is another option. Chemicals are applied directly to the scalp and results in a rash. This rash alters your immune system's response to fighting the healthy hair follicles. Treatment must continue for results to continue.
We want to help you get properly diagnosed if you do in fact have alopecia. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas complete this form. A dermatology from Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute will be in touch.
We look forward to serving you. Please let us know who you are and what kind of skin care services you looking for, and we will be in touch to schedule your appointment.