Types of Alopecia

Types of Alopecia or Baldness Classification

Syndromes that produce hair loss can be generally classified as cictrical and noncicatrical.

Noncicatrical Alopecia

This kind of alopecia is not generated by scars, it is due to hormonal or metabolic changes that affect the capillary follicles, weakening them, damaging them permanently or causing definitive hair loss. The most known kinds of Noncicatrical alopecia are:

Androgenic Alopecia

It is also called premature alopecia, androgenic alopecia, common alopecia, or common baldness for being the most frequent alopecia. It is much more common in men than in women. It is hereditary, of dominant autosomatic type but it affects males because it needs the presence of androgens to manifest itself. The impossibility of curing this kind of alopecia in the long term lays in its biological sequence, since it is a hereditary condition that accentuates hair loss, of polygenic base, triggered by hormonal androgens. Its final process involves the immune system, through a lymphocyte infiltration that produces a phenomenon known as perifolicular fibrosis.

This process, among other factors, contributes that the miniaturized hairs cannot recover their medullated form; a necessary condition for the hairs to grow more than 25mm.

Currently, there are a number of hair restoration techniques and treatments that allow to reduce mid-term the effects of the androgenic alopecia. Minoxidil and Finasteride are two of the products which have demonstrated scientifically their effectiveness against hair loss. Their disadvantage lies in the possible side effects and the constant need to use the baldness treatment to obtain results.

After a few months without the use of the products, the obtained results begin to disappear.

Traumatic Alopecia

It can be caused by the patient himself (trichotillomania), by traction, or by pressure. These are all caused by diverse physical traumas. The most common types of this hair loss are caused by subjecting the hair to constant pressure with tense hairstyles. 1) Due to traction: by subjecting the hair to tense hairstyles such as pony tails, braids etc. 2) Due to pressure: caused by constant friction, for example in babies it is caused by the constant friction against the pillow. 3) Due to trichotillomania: which is the nervous habit of pulling hair, causing damage in different size areas.

Alopecia Areata

It is a kind of hair loss that causes round patches, its causes are not totally established, but it is related to stressful situations. In occasions an autoimmune substrate can be found. In many situations this condition only affects one area (Alopecia Areata monocularis) and it commonly cures after some time, but also can spread throughout the head (alopecia totalis), or the body in its entirety (alopecia universalis).

The hair follicles are not destroyed by this condition therefore the hair normally regrows. It is true, however, these episodes are very frequent if the triggering conditions of hair loss to remain present.

Diffuse Alopecia: chronic telogen effluvium (CTE)

The term “telogen effluvium” was coined by Kligman in 1961. It is the acute hair loss after chronic systemic diseases, emotional stress, febrile diseases, or giving birth. The last one, acute telogen effluvium can last up to 6 months before total recovery.

After a physically traumatic experience, such as child birth, major surgery, malnutrition, extreme stress or severe infection, the body can be impacted and hair loss occurrences may increase.

Simultaneously, most of the hairs in different growing (anagen) and transitional (catagen) phases can change into the telogen, or resting phase. The hair loss, called telogen effluvium, may occur after 6 weeks to 6 months of the stressful situation. During this event, large quantities of hair may be lost.

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