Hair loss is a common issue that affects both men and women. The most widespread cause of hair loss worldwide is hereditary hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss is caused by exposure to the male sex hormone dihydrotestosterone, which begins after puberty. It tends to occur gradually, with some people experiencing hair loss as early as puberty, while others may not notice symptoms until middle age.
Alopecia areata is another type of hair loss that is caused by an autoimmune condition. This causes the immune system to attack hair follicles, resulting in bald patches that can range from small to large. In some cases, it can lead to total hair loss. People with alopecia areata may also experience hair loss on their eyebrows, eyelashes, or other parts of the body.
Anagen effluvium is a type of rapid hair loss that usually occurs due to radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Telogen effluvium is another type of sudden hair loss that results from emotional or physical shock, such as a traumatic event, a period of extreme stress, or a serious illness. Ringworm of the head is a fungal infection that can affect the scalp and hair shaft. It causes small areas of baldness that are scaly and itchy.
If not treated in time, the size of the patch or patches will increase and fill with pus. Traction alopecia is another type of hair loss caused by too much pressure and tension on the hair, often from wearing it in tight styles such as braids, pigtails, or bows. Folliculitis decalvana is an inflammatory disorder that leads to the destruction of hair follicles and can be accompanied by redness, swelling and lesions on the scalp that may be itchy or contain pus. Cicatricial alopecia is a rare type of hair loss in which inflammation destroys hair follicles and causes scar tissue to form in their place.
If you are concerned about persistent hair loss in you or your child, it's important to talk to your doctor to address your concerns and rule out any serious underlying medical problems that may be causing your hair loss. Your doctor can also offer medications to control symptoms and, in some cases, stop the progression of hair loss. Providing any information you can about how quickly the hair loss occurred, along with any family history of baldness, will help your doctor determine the type of hair loss and its cause before starting treatment.