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University Medicine Cluster

Common Conditions:

 

 

Arthritis

High Blood Pressure

Asthma

High Cholesterol

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Lung Cancer

Dermatitis

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Gout

Pneumonia

Hair Loss

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Definition

Hair loss may be abnormal if you are losing more than 100 hairs a day. This may result in a general thinning of hair or in a patchy loss of hair over the scalp and other hair bearing areas such as the beard or eyebrows.


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Symptoms

Androgenetic Alopecia

This is the commonest cause of hair loss in both men and women. It is commonly known as male or female pattern baldness. It is caused by a combination of factors including hormones (Testosterone), age and genetic predisposition. It usually affects women later in life than men.

Alopecia Areata

Auto-immune disease where immune cells of the body attacks and damages your own hair follicles, this usually results in a patchy loss of hair.

Telogen Effluvium

Disruption of normal hair cycle resulting in diffuse loss of hair. This commonly occurs 2 to 4 months following situations such as childbirth, acute illness, surgery, physical and emotional stress and crash dieting.

Chronic Illness and nutritional deficiencies

Such as iron, vitamin D and Zinc. Thyroid diseases, connective tissue disease and chronic kidney or liver disease can also cause hair loss.

Scalp Diseases

Fungal and bacterial infection, and other local scalp inflammatory disorders such as seborrheic dermatitis may result in patchy or focal hair loss with accompanying scaliness.

Trichotillomania

Obsessive, uncontrolled self-plucking of one’s hair. This results in patchy hair loss in bizarre shapes and patterns, broken hair shafts and scalp excoriations.

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When to seek medical advice

See your doctor if:

  • You're so uncomfortable with the condition that it affects your quality of life
  • There is widespread involvement

Treatment and drugs

Treatment for hair loss depends on the type and severity. Your doctor will take a detailed history and perform a thorough examination. He or she may also conduct certain investigations such as blood tests, hair microscopy and even perform a scalp biopsy.

Androgenetic Alopecia

First line treatment involves applying topical solutions such as Minoxidil (2%/5%). Oral Finasteride tablets can also be used in men. Oral medications are not routinely prescribed for women because of possible side effects and risks of teratogenicity. You should discuss this with your doctor. In patients who have failed medical therapy, hair transplant surgery can be an option.

Alopecia Areata

First line treatment involves either injecting steroid solutions into the scalp or applying potent topical steroids on the scalp. In more severe cases, topical immunotherapy can be performed. This involves a weekly application of a solution over the bald patches to induce an inflammatory reaction, thereby stimulating hair growth. Oral medications such as prednisolone, methotrexate and ciclosporin are sometimes also used for severe cases, it is best to discuss this with your doctor.

Telogen Effluvium

This is condition is usually self-limiting once the inciting factor is over eg. Childbirth, emotional stress.

Chronic Illness and nutritional deficiencies such as iron, vitamin D and Zinc

Nutritional deficiencies should be replaced either with diet or vitamin supplements. Chronic illness should be managed and treated adequately.

Scalp Diseases

Topical or oral antimicrobial therapy will be used to treat these scalp infections. Topical steroids and medicated shampoos such as coal tar, cetrimide and ketoconazole are often used to treat scalp inflammation.

Trichotillomania

Counselling and behavioral modification is important. Medications such as Tricycline anti-depressants and Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors can also be used, often in consultation with psychiatrists.

 

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Appointment and Enquiry

 

University Medicine Clinic

Location: Main Building, Level 1

 

Operating  Hours:

8.30am-5.30pm (Mondays-Fridays)

Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays

 

University Medicine Cluster Appointment Line /General Enquiries:

Tel     : 6772 8686

Fax    : 6734 1641

Email : umcapptline@nuhs.edu.sg

 

 

University Dermatology Clinic

Location: Main Building, Level 3, Lift Lobby 1

 

Operating  Hours:

8.30am-5.30pm (Mondays-Fridays)

Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays

 

University Medicine Cluster Appointment Line/General Enquiries:

Tel     : 6772 8686

Fax    : 6734 1641

Email : umcapptline@nuhs.edu.sg

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