What starts with a few extra hairs in the sink or in your comb later can progress to a bare scalp. Hair loss is none discriminating. It can occur in men, women and children. It can be the result of heredity, medications, nutrition or an underlying medical condition. Gradual hair loss is a normal part of aging. The average person loses 50 to 100 hairs per day and should not cause noticeable thinning. If you are experiencing hair loss that is excessive and the rate of shedding exceeds the rate of regrowth, it is time to see adoctor. It is a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. There is a lot of ground to cover and your appointment may take some time. Here are some suggestions so that you can be prepared.
• Write down all medications you are taking and bring any recent results of blood work you have had done.
• Write down all of your symptoms you have been experiencing, including anything that may seem unrelated to why you are being seen. Often there is an underlying reason for hair loss and your dermatologist can help with diagnoses.
• Provide information on any recent life changes you have experienced.
• If possible, bring someone with you. There is a lot of information to absorb and hair loss is often an emotional process.
• Ask if there are any pre-appointment restrictions. Depending on the doctor there may be things you need to do in advance.
Questions you should ask your doctor include:
What kind of tests might I need?
Are any of the possible treatments covered by my insurance?
What is the most productive course of action?
Do I have a temporary or chronic condition?
What is the likely cause for my symptoms?
How is it best to manage this condition with the other conditions I have?
Is there another approach to your suggested course of treatment?
Are there any restrictions I need to follow?
Do you have any printed materials I can take home or websites you suggest so that I can research what you are suggesting?
Always make sure you understand what your doctor is telling you. During your appointment make sure to ask questions as soon as there is information that you do not understand. Below is a list of questions your doctor may ask you:
• Does anything seem to worsen your hair loss?
• When did you start experiencing your hair loss?
• Is the loss continuous or occasional?
• Does anything seem to improve your hair loss?
• Does anyone in your family suffer from alopecia?
• Have you had a similar problem in the past?
There are various options available for treatment. Make sure you explore all options and decide the best course of treatment for you.