• Alopecia Areata: hair loss in patches
  • Alopecia Totalis: baldness on the scalp
  • Alopecia Universalis: hair loss on the body

Alopecia/Hair Loss

in Fargo, North Dakota

Hair loss is often an unavoidable occurrence that can severely affect a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Many people around the United States experience hair loss every year and feel like they have few options. Sometimes, hair loss is a natural occurrence caused by genetics, but sometimes hair loss is due to a disease known as alopecia. A board-certified dermatologist will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.

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What is Alopecia?

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes severe loss of hair. It’s a fairly common disease affecting around 6 million people in the United States. Alopecia can affect anyone, and it’s not specific to any gender, race, or age, but most people will start to see its affects by the age of 30. There are a few different types of alopecia, which can have different effects on the amount of hair loss and treatment options.

What causes Alopecia?

Unlike normal patterned baldness caused by genetics, alopecia is an autoimmune disease caused by your immune system attacking your hair follicles. Alopecia is more likely to happen in people that have a relative with alopecia, have other autoimmune diseases, and have allergies or asthma. Alopecia can also affect your nails, and sometimes your nails can be the best indicators of alopecia being present. If you have alopecia, your nails can change color, get tiny dents, lines, become thin, split, and feel rough to the touch. Alopecia can come and go in stages, forcing hair to fall out and, when the hair grows back, it can fall out again. If you have a history of balding in your family, it does not mean that you will have alopecia, since regular patterned balding is a different issue than alopecia.

How is Alopecia treated?

If you feel that you may be experiencing alopecia, then you should see your dermatologist for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Often times, your dermatologist will be able to diagnose alopecia just by looking at your hair loss. Sometimes, we can perform a scalp biopsy in order to get a closer look and confirm the alopecia. During a scalp biopsy, a local anesthetic is used in order to carefully collect some hairs (with the follicle intact) for closer analysis with a microscope. This way, Dr. Ness can examine the follicles for any possible causes of your hair loss. After diagnosis from Dr. Ness, she will create a personalized treatment plan for you. The treatments that are available include:

  • Corticosteroids: This medication can come in the form of a topical cream, pill, or injection. It helps to suppress the immune system, letting the hair grow back.
  • Minoxidil: This is a topical hair regrowth medication.
  • Anthralin: This is a short-contact therapy which helps to alter the immune function in the skin.
  • Diphencyprone (DPCP): This medicine is topically applied to the scalp. It causes a small reaction, tricking the immune system into sending white blood cells to the scalp, which prevents the hair loss.
  • Revian Red LED Hair Loss Therapy Cap:  This is an LED light device worn for just 10 minutes per day, that stimulates the body’s natural processes to rejuvenate hair and skin.

Alopecia Maintenance

Alopecia is not always a permanent condition. Often times, the hair can regrow by itself and stay growing. Even after treatments, alopecia may not always affect you once it has gone away. Though, that is not always the case. Some people with a more severe case of alopecia may be affected all of their lives. In this case, it is important to find ways to manage it and consider possibly joining a support group to deal with the emotional toll that alopecia can have on some patients.

Schedule a Consultation

Alopecia affects millions of people around the US. If you have been experiencing symptoms of alopecia and wish to get some relief, then contact the Fargo Center for Dermatology for an appointment with Dr. Ness. You can make an appointment by calling our Fargo office or booking online.

Hair Loss FAQs

When should I be worried about hair loss?

If your hair starts falling out rapidly or you have pain, itchiness, or a rash, you should consult your provider. Even without these symptoms, if your self-esteem is affected by your hair loss, we encourage you to seek treatment.

What foods are good for hair loss?

A well-balanced diet with protein, leafy greens, and healthy grains can help prevent hair loss. Foods to include in your diet include chicken, eggs, carrots, fish, soy products, spinach, avocados, and nuts.

How do I stop my hair from falling out?

Knowing the cause of your hair loss can help you find an effective solution to prevent further loss. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a provider for a physical examination.

What are the main causes of hair loss?

Genetics, stress, certain illnesses like autoimmune disorders, and hormonal changes are some of the main causes of hair loss

How can I tell what type of hair loss I have?

An examination with a medical professional is needed to determine what type of hair loss you have. They can perform a biopsy and lab tests as needed.

Can you regrow lost hair?

Lost hair can sometimes be regrown, depending on the type of hair loss. Alopecia and male pattern baldness can often be successfully treated.

What will a provider do for hair loss?

After an evaluation, your provider will tailor a specific treatment plan based on the type of hair loss you are experiencing. Treatments may include topical medications, injectables, oral medication, and light therapy.

What vitamin is for hair loss?

Votesse supplements use a natural blend of vitamins to encourage new growth of healthier, fuller hair. We offer Dr. Rachel Ness brand hair thickening shampoo and conditioner along with a rapid hair growth serum in our office as well.



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