Alopecia, hair loss, is generally thought of as an autoimmune disorder, where the T-cells of the immune system attack the hair follicles. However, it is possible to lose your hair due to an unhealthy diet. For instance, some individuals who severely restrict carbohydrates from their diet tend to eat too much fat and protein. Alopecia can result from too little or too much protein, fat, iron or zinc. It is also possible to lose your hair if you get too much Vitamin A in your diet.
People who are malnourished over long periods of time, or have some sort of hormonal imbalance could also lose their hair. Alopecia could also result from ingesting heavy metals over long periods of time. Aside from the immune system attacking the hair follicles, improper diet, and exposure to toxins, hair loss could also be caused by disease and certain medications, such as chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
There are different types of alopecia: alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, and alopecia universalis. Alopecia areata is characterized by patchy hair loss to the scalp. Alopecia totalis is characterized by complete hair loss on the scalp. Conversely, alopecia universalis is characterized by complete hair loss over the entire body, including the eyelashes. There is no basic difference between the different forms of alopecia; it is just the degree of hair loss that is specific to each type.
Alopecia areata sometimes resolves on its own. Steroid injections are sometimes helpful. If steroid injections are effective, you should notice hair regrowing within 4 to 6 weeks. Some people never regrow their hair and have learned to live with their hair loss. If you have any type of alopecia, your dermatologist may be able to help you. Here are a couple of dermatologists in the Atlanta area.
Dermatology Associates of Atlanta
The Medical Quarters, Suite 190
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30342
Phone: (404) 256-4457
North Atlanta Dermatology
3850 Pleasant Hill road
Duluth, Georgia 30096