Mylash is a service for people that want to grow their eyelashes longer, thicker or darker. Having inadequate or not enough eyelashes is known as hypotrichosis of the eyelashes. Although Mylash does not offer treatment for other conditions, here are a few problems that can effect hair growth.
The word alopecia derives from the Latin for “mange in foxes”, which refers to a disease that causes hairloss in animals. The term alopecia refers to hair loss by any cause effecting any part of the body.
Having an underactive thyroid is surprisingly common as it effects 3% of the population and problems with hair can be one of the first symptoms. This presents as thinning or coarseness, but can lead to patches of hair loss. ‘Queen Anne’s sign” is when you lose the outer third of your eyebrow and suggests hypothyroidism. Other symptoms include weight gain and tiredness, and if you think that you may have hypothyroidism then you should visit your GP.
Iron is necessary for many of the bodies natural processes and being iron deficient can lead to thinning or even loss of the hair. In the UK, blood loss due to menstruation (periods) is the most common cause although bleeding into the digestive tract from ulcers or haemorrhoid’s is important to consider in older individuals.
This condition is likely to be an autoimmune attack on the hair follicle and is commonly linked to other autoimmune related diseases. It typically leaves round patches of hairloss with healthy skin underneath.
This is the medical name for male pattern baldness although it can effect females. It is effected by a variety of things including hormones, genes and stress. An interesting theory exists in which male pattern baldness is simply a continuation of the hair loss we have been experiencing since evolving from monkeys and eventually we will have completely bald heads.
High levels of stress cause hair thinning or loss and may be brought on by a high pressure job, allergic reactions, crash dieting and eating disorders, major illness or surgery, or difficult life events.
During pregnancy, high levels of oestrogen cause a thicker hair to grow. After birth, when the levels of oestrogen drop, the new hair is back to its original dimensions or even less due to stress. This can cause a shedding of hair which can be distressing.
A lot of medications can cause hair loss including chemotherapy drugs, beta blockers, blood thinning agents, vaccinations and antidepressants. If you think your hair loss is related to your medication, you should discuss this with your doctor.
Hair extensions, hair tugging and other rare causes
There are many rarer causes of hair loss and lots of links to other diseases. The first symptom of syphilis can be patchy hair loss similar to alopecia areata mentioned earlier. Traction alopecia is caused by excessive stress on the follicle and can be caused by hair extensions. Infections, such as impetigo or tinea capitis, can cause hair loss and some people suffer from a psychiatric condition known as thrichotillomania in which they pull out their hair compulsively.
There are many causes of hair loss and it is a very common problem. If you feel that you may be suffering from hairloss, we recommend that you have a consultation with your GP.
Read about the latest information on potential baldness treatments here.
Written by Dr Tom Walker