Androgenetic alopecia: Cause, Symptoms, Treatment & More

Androgenetic alopecia is a common hair loss condition that affects men as well as women. When it affects men, it is called male-pattern baldness, in which hair loss occurs in a well-defined pattern, starting above both temples. 

As time passes by, the hairline continues to recede and form an ‘M’ shape. Also, hair thins out at the crown, progressing to partial or, in some cases, complete baldness. In the case of women, the hair loss pattern is different from male-pattern baldness. 

The hair starts thinning all over the head, and there is no receding hairline. In only rare cases does androgenetic alopecia lead to complete baldness in women. Unfortunately, there is no hair treatment for men and women suffering from this condition. 

However, a hair transplant is a common way of dealing with the hair loss problem associated with androgenetic alopecia. Continue reading to learn about Androgenetic Alopecia, along with its symptoms, causes, and treatment, and more. 

Causes

There is a wide range of environmental and genetic factors that play a key role in the development of androgenetic alopecia. Even though there is some research going on the risk factors that might be contributing to this condition, the truth is that most of such factors are still unknown. 

However, the one thing that scientists know is that this type of hair loss has a relation to a hormone called androgens, specifically an androgen called dihydrotestosterone. The hormone androgen is crucial for male sexual development before birth as well as during puberty. It also has other functions in males and females, including regulating sex drive and hair growth.

The hair grows under the skin in follicles. Every single strand of hair grows for about two to six years, remains in a resting phase for months, and then eventually falls out. When the follicle starts to grow new hair, the cycle starts over as well. 

If there is an increased androgens level in the hair follicles, it can result in a shorter hair growth cycle and growth of thinner and shorter hair strands. Additionally, this might lead to a delay in the new hair growth that will be replacing the shed hair strands.

Even though researchers suspect that there are several genes that play a role in the development of androgenetic alopecia, scientific studies have confirmed variation in only one gene called AR. This gene provides instruction to make a protein named androgen receptor that allows the body to appropriately respond to dihydrotestosterone. 

Scientists are investigating the connection between this condition and other diseases like coronary heart disease, polycystic ovary syndrome in women, and prostate cancer in men. It is believed that a few of these disorders might have a connection with elevated androgen levels. Other unidentified genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors might also be involved.

Symptoms

The symptoms of androgenetic alopecia differ in males and females, with each having a characteristic hair loss pattern:

Male pattern hair loss - In males, the hair loss begins above their temples. Their whole hairline starts receding into the shape of the letter ‘M’. The hair present at the top of their head starts thinning as well. In some cases, total baldness might occur.

Female pattern hair loss - In females, the hair loss begins along the line of their parting. The hair around the top of their head starts to get thinner. The hairline is usually left unaffected, and in only seldom cases do women go completely bald. 

Treatment

There is no treatment for androgenetic alopecia. However, there are some ways of minimizing hair loss. One of these is using anti-androgens. These medications can slow down hair loss. In clinical trials, women have responded well to medications that block the production of androgens.

If there is no way of slowing down the hair loss, one can also go for a hair transplant in which a surgeon transplants the hair follicles from one body part to the head. Hair transplant has been a popular option for hair treatment in men and women that have helped them get their hair and confidence back. 


Post a Comment

0 Comments