Dermatology And Female Pattern Hair Loss: 3 Questions Answered

Posted on: 9 February 2017

If you are a female experiencing thinning hair or hair loss, you might want to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. Dermatology encompasses more than skin care. Most dermatologists also see patients for issues involving the nails and hair as well. Female pattern baldness or hair loss may be due to a number of reasons, including medical or hereditary issues. Performing a few simple tests may help the doctor make a conclusive diagnosis and initiate a treatment plan or options. Here are the answers to a few of the questions you may have involving dermatology and hair loss:

1. What Can You Expect From Your Visit to a Dermatologist?

Your dermatologist will want to know your medical history. Are you entering menopause? During this time, the drop of estrogen levels may lead to hair loss for many women. Are you on medications such as antidepressants? Some drugs are known to cause hair loss. Beta blockers and acne medications may also have the same effect for some.

In addition, your dermatologist will most likely ask you questions about your lifestyle and any sudden changes you've experienced. For instance, have you experienced a recent traumatic or stressful event in your life? Stressful times may lead to hair loss for many women.

However, in some cases, female pattern hair loss or thinning hair may be hereditary. If your mother has similar issues involving hair loss, you may be predisposed to experiencing the same. For this reason, the doctor will ask you if your mother or siblings have experienced hair loss at some time.

2. Will the Dermatologist Perform Blood Work?

If the doctor rules out a psychological reason and stress that can cause sudden hair loss, he or she may wish to perform blood work to determine if there is a physical reason for your loss of hair. Blood tests may pinpoint a medical cause for your hair loss, such as an underactive or overactive thyroid or an iron deficiency.

If you are diagnosed with thyroid issues, drugs may be prescribed to control the problem. Once your thyroid issues have been managed, you may experience a regrowth of hair. Your doctor will help you monitor your hair growth to see if the problem is resolved after you've been on thyroid medication. If your hair loss is due to an iron deficiency, iron supplements may be prescribed to correct the issue.

Did you know that up to 40 percent of menopausal women experience some degree of hair loss? Hair loss due to the effects of menopause and fluctuating hormone levels is sometimes reversed through hormone replacement therapy. This option may not be advisable or safe for all women, so you must discuss this with your dermatologist. In some cases, alternate prescription drugs may be beneficial in helping you regrow your hair. Supplements may also be prescribed, as well as specially formulated shampoo and conditioners. Your dermatologist can inform you of which formulas to use.

3. What Can Be Done About Hair Loss Due to Emotional Stress?

When all other causes have been ruled out, stress may be a contributing factor for your hair loss. In such a case, a few simple lifestyle changes may make a difference. The doctor may recommend consuming foods known to strengthen the hair and promote hair growth. This may include fish, poultry, eggs, and liver, all of which contain the protein needed for healthy hair. Olive oil, nuts, and beans contain vitamin E and may also be beneficial for hair growth.

The dermatologist may also prescribe a nutritional supplement especially designed for women, which may include iron, vitamin B6, folic acid, and biotin. Also, if you smoke, you may be urged to quit. Reducing stress through exercise, meditation, or yoga may also be helpful.