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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Hair Loss: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions

Hair Loss

Alternate Names : Alopecia, Baldness

Hair Loss | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment is directed at the underlying cause. Treatment may include:

  • medication for male pattern baldness, such as minoxidil and finasteride
  • antibiotics to treat a fungal or syphilis infection
  • stopping a medication that is causing hair loss
  • medication to treat an underlying condition, such as iron or thyroid hormone pills
  • medications applied to the area of hair loss to reduce inflammation
  • Some people may choose hair grafting, or hair transplantation, to cover areas of hair loss. There are several hair-grafting techniques, which involve taking pieces of scalp from hair-growing areas on the back or side of the head and placing them into slits on the balding areas.

    Wigs, hair weaves, toupees, and other hairpieces may be used to cover areas where hair is thin or absent. Other treatments may be used for other causes. Some people choose no treatment at all.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    All medications may cause side effects. For example, finasteride may cause erectile dysfunction in men. Antibiotics may cause rash, stomach upset, or allergic reactions.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    If treatment is successful, the hair loss stops. With male pattern baldness, treatment is often needed for life to prevent further hair loss. In some cases, treatment may allow the hair to grow back completely. Treatment may be needed for long periods of time if the underlying cause is a serious disease.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Both the affected person and the healthcare provider can frequently examine the area of hair loss to see if treatment is effective. Other monitoring depends on the cause of the hair loss. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Hair Loss: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Lynn West, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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