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Alopecia Specialist

Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry

Board Certified Dermatologists & Cosmetic Surgeons located in Hilton Head, SC & Okatie, SC

Alopecia is a broad term for hair loss, which is most commonly associated with male pattern baldness, though it can strike women and children, too. Whatever the underlying cause of your alopecia, Oswald L. Mikell, MD, at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry can help stop and reverse the impact of the condition through medications and hair transplants. To tackle your alopecia, call the office in Hilton Head, Okatie, or Beaufort, South Carolina, or use the online form to schedule a consultation.

Alopecia Q & A

What are the different types of alopecia?

There are several different types of alopecia, but most cases fall under the following two:

Androgenic alopecia

Also called male pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition that causes hair loss in both men and women, though men are more likely to have it. In fact, by the time men reach the age of 50, 85% of them experience appreciable hair loss.

Androgenic alopecia is characterized by the loss of hair above your temples and around the crown of your head. The hair loss is progressive and can lead to total baldness. In women, androgenic alopecia causes overall thinning of the hair and doesn’t favor any one area.

Alopecia areata

With this type of alopecia, your immune system attacks your hair follicles in certain areas, which causes patchy hair loss. This can occur in both males and females of all ages, including children. The hair loss is usually confined to your scalp, but it can affect the hair elsewhere on your body. Normally, the hair grows back.

What causes alopecia?

As discussed above, hair loss can generally be tied to two things:

  • Genetics
  • Immune disorder

Other, less common, causes of hair loss include:

  • Certain medications
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes
  • Fungal infections
  • Surgery

How is alopecia treated?

The answer to this depends upon which type of alopecia is affecting you. Since male pattern baldness accounts for 95% of hair loss in men, it’s useful to discuss treatments for this type of hair loss.

While it’s hard to fight something that’s genetically coded, Dr. Mikell has several treatment options when it comes to male pattern baldness, which includes:

  • Minoxidil, an over-the-counter topical medication that prevents further hair loss
  • Finasteride, an oral medication that interrupts the hormone responsible for hair loss

While these two medications are effective in slowing the progression of hair loss, neither can help you regain the hair you’ve lost. The only way to do that is to undergo a hair transplant. If you’d like to explore that option, Dr. Mikell explains various methods of taking hair from the healthy areas of your head, usually around the back, and transplanting it into the areas you need it most.

If you want to further investigate ways to manage, or even reverse, your hair loss, call Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry to set up an appointment. Or, use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.