Diffuse hair loss

Diffuse alopecia is a pathology which can affect the entire head. What are the causes and symptoms of this condition?



How to recognize diffuse hair loss

This type of hair loss is distributed evenly over the entire head. It is characterized by a loss in overall density and volume throughout the entire scalp.

It may appear as occasional hair loss, lasting less than six months, and is totally or partially reversible. It may also appear as chronic hair loss brought on either by persistent acute loss or by a general metabolic or endocrine cause.

A localized form of alopecia also exists, which, if extensive, can be diffuse. This last form, which professionals refer to as androgenetic alopecia, is typically limited to certain areas of the scalp. The most commonly affected areas include the crown and temples for men, and the crown and hairline for women.

How to treat diffuse alopecia in men and women

Is it possible to treat diffuse alopecia effectively? Once again, it all depends on the nature of the hair loss. In the case of acute or chronic hair loss for which the causes have been identified, treatment consists of addressing the factors that may be triggering the alopecia.
With regard to managing androgenetic alopecia, two types of medicinal treatments have been validated:

  • minoxidil and anti-androgen medications such as finasteride (for men only). They can be prescribed by a dermatologist specializing in the scalp for cases of androgenetic alopecia and diffuse alopecia in women and men.
  • hair transplant, the most long-lasting and most expensive solution. Common among men, increasingly more women are also turning to this solution to treat diffuse alopecia. This is evidenced by the fact that the number of female hair transplants has tripled since 2004.

* Source: Blume-Peytavi et al., 2011; Norwood, 1975

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