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Home >> Genetic hair disorders >> Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss affecting both men and women equally. In men, this condition is known as male pattern baldness (MPB) while in female it is female pattern baldness (FPB) or female pattern hair loss (FPHL).

In male baldness the hair loss follows a well-defined pattern. It begins above both temples and then gradually the frontal hairline recedes to form a characteristic "M" shape. Also the hair thins at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness. Usually the back and sides of the head remain unaffected, but for a few men with severe pattern baldness, they can experience some thinning in these areas.

The presentation of female pattern baldness is usually quite different from men. In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the top of head, to give a diffused hair loss but the frontal hairline does not usually recede. Baldness of the female pattern rarely leads to overall hair shedding of the scalp. Also, the mechanism of female pattern baldness is slightly different from that of men.

Although pattern baldness is a common hair loss cause in both genders, it is more evident in men than in women. A survey result shows that this form of hair loss affected about 35 million men in the United States. Male or female baldness can start as early as in the teenage years of a person and the risk increases with age. More than 50 percent of men that are in the age-group of above 50 have some degree of pattern baldness. In women, the female pattern baldness is most likely to begin after menopause.

Causes of androgenetic alopecia
Male Pattern Baldness
A variety of genetic and environmental factors are likely to play a role in causing androgenetic alopecia or male baldness. Although researchers are studying the various risk factors that may contribute to this condition, most of these factors remain unknown. It has been determined that this form of hair loss is related to hormones called androgens, especially a particular androgen hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

The disease is related to an increase in the concentration of DHT which is responsible for the change in the scalp hair growth dynamics. Research has already proved that the male pattern baldness caused by androgens is triggered by genetic factors, though the inheritance pattern of androgenetic alopecia is not understood fully. It is likely that multiple genes and environmental factors are involved in the clinical presentation of the disease.

Other than androgen hormones, Androgenetic Alopecia in men has been associated with several other medical conditions including coronary heart disease and enlargement of the prostate. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in males located below the bladder. In addition to prostate cancer, disorders in insulin resistance (such as diabetes and obesity), and high blood pressure (hypertension) have been found to be related to male baldness.

Female Pattern baldness
Baldness of a female pattern is often associated with of the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS characterizes itself as an hormonal imbalance which results in irregular menstruation, acne, excess body hair growth (hirsutism), and weight gain.

Effects
Male or female pattern baldness can have a serious psychological impact on a person. Studies have shown that male or female baldness can be associated with low self esteem, depression, introversion, and feelings of unattractiveness.

But there is no need to be anxious by this genetic hair loss condition. There are various treatments and surgery which are largely effective in controlling female or male baldness.

Treatments
There are various treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia. Various medications are available which can be quite effective in the early stages of patterned male or female baldness. For those with more advanced hair loss, where the hair follicles are severely damaged or destroyed, surgery or a hairpiece may be the only practical options.

Hair transplant surgery involves a number of complex steps starting with the planning, preparing the hair replacement transplant donor area, and then the grafting of permanent hair transplants on the bald scalp areas. It is best to have the necessary Hair Transplant Information before going for surgery.

So read the details and remain informed in order to avoid the traps of quacks who may, with their limited information, cause extensive harm to the already affected hair fibers.


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