Alopecia

Sign/Symptoms
Drugs
Treatments
Attributes
Commonality is common
Further Tests
Our Records are Incomplete for Further Tests

 Alopecia

 

Alopecia is the loss of hair from the head or any part of the body. It is often of concern to patients largely for cosmetic reasons, but it can be a crucial indicator of an underlying illness.

 

Causes

Common causes of hair loss include:

·         Male- or female-pattern hair loss, due to hormonal and hereditary factors;

·         Drugs;

·         Illness;

·         Stress;

·         Aging; and

·         Sudden weight loss.

 

Disease pathway

Hair growth occurs in cycles, which each cycle comprising a growing phase; a transitional phase; and a resting phase. Following the resting face, the hair falls out, and a new cycle begins with a new hair growing in the follicle.

Usually, about 100 hairs on the head will fall out on a daily basis. When the number falling out is in considerable excess of this, hair loss may occur.

 

Symptoms and diagnosis

Male- and female-pattern hair loss can be diagnosed based on its typical appearance. In other cases, the cause of hair loss is often difficult to identify.

Techniques which may be used to diagnose the cause of alopecia can include:

·         Microscopic examination of the hair follicles; and

·         Blood tests to identify signs of hormonal abnormalities or other illnesses.

 

Treatment

The most appropriate course of treatment depends on the source of alopecia. In many patients, drugs have proven to be effective in promoting hair regrowth.

Hair transplantation is another option, wherein hair follicles are literally transplanted from a region of the scalp with higher concentration of hair to a site with less.

 

 

 

Efficacy of Alternative and Other Treatments According to GRADE* Ranking:

Vitamin B Complex [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help in preventing some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present. Please note, this acts as a PREVENTATIVE treatment, and not necessarily symptomatic relief. Supplements should only be taken if they contain no more than 100% of the recommended daily value

Recommendation: Weakly in favor (Vitamin B may help in preventing alopecia due to its role in the body's metabolism and skin health)

Grade of Evidence: Moderate quality of evidence

Massage:

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to show that massage is able to treat alopecia)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

He Shou Wu Tea:

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to show that he shou wu tea is able to treat alopecia)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

Gingko Biloba:

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to show that gingko biloba is able to treat alopecia)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

Green Tea:

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to show that green tea is able to treat alopecia)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

Black Cohosh Plant (Actaeca Racemosa):

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to show that black cohosh is able to treat alopecia)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

Saw Palmetto Extract [12, 13]:

Recommendation: Weakly in favor (Early studies show that saw palmetto extract may be able to treat alopecia. More studies are needed)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

TEMPO (nitroxide spin label) [14, 15]:

Recommendation: Weakly in favor (Early studies show that TEMPO may be able to treat alopecia. More studies are needed)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Caffeine [16]:

Recommendation: Weakly in favor (Early studies show that caffeine may be able to treat alopecia. More studies are needed)

Grade of evidence: Low quality of evidence

* www.gradeworkinggroup.org

 

Summary References

Treatments:

1. Ades T, Alteri R, Gansler T, Yeargin P, "Complete Guide to Complimentary & Alternative Cancer Therapies", American Cancer Society, Atlanta USA, 2009

2. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/vitamin-b-complex

3. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-folate.html

4. Butterworth RF. Thiamin. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.

5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18220605

6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6935482.stm

7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19061687

8. Gropper, S. S, Smith, J. L., Groff, J. L. (2009). Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage learning.

9. Otten, J. J., Hellwig, J. P., Meyers, L. D. (2008). Dietary reference intakes: The essential guide to nutrient requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press

10. http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/vitamin-b1.htm

11. Higdon, Jane (2003). "Biotin". An evidence-based approach to vitamins and minerals. Thieme. ISBN 9781588901248.

12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20300369

13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840915/

14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20153367

15. http://www.google.com/patents/US5728714

16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500065/
 

 


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