Hair Diseases (2)

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Trichotillomania, also known as trichoptilosis or trich, is not an actual disease of the hair, but rather a mental condition that adversely affects the hair. Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder, in which sufferers have repeated and compulsive urges to pull out their hair, with such aggression that it often results in noticeable bald patches appearing on the head.
Because it is a mental disorder, Trichotillomania is difficult to treat and needs to be handled with extreme caution. Low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder are commonly associated with people suffering from Trichotillomania.
Signs that an individual is deliberately pulling their hair out range from the obvious bald patches visible on the head, hair of differing lengths, broken hair, and blunt ends, but also some patients may be ashamed of their compulsions and be intent on "hiding" the evidence by wearing wigs and hats.
Diagnosis of the disease usually comes through self-admission, but for those who deny the disorder; tests for other diseases of the hair which result in similar symptoms need to be performed to rule them out. Because Trichotillomania is a mental condition, treatments usually consist of referrals to psychiatrists and psychologists and putting the patient on behavior modification programs rather than pharmacological interventions.
Although medications related to depression and anxiety, can also be prescribed, such as Prozac and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Hypnotherapy also often has beneficial results in patients suffering from Trichotillomania.
Folliculitis is a hair disease that causes inflammation of individual hair follicles, which is not limited to the hair on the scalp but can occur anywhere on the body. When the follicles become swollen, it causes painful, red bumps to appear on the skin.
Folliculitis is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection, although less frequently it can be caused by non-bacterial factors including friction from tight clothing or shaving. Anyone can be affected by Folliculitis and it usually clears up quickly by using antiseptic creams such as chlorhexidine or triclosan.
Tinea Capitis
Tinea Capitis
Tinea Capitis, more commonly known as "scalp ringworm," is a fungal infection of the scalp. Primarily, this hair disease is caused by dermatophytes which invade the hair shaft. Symptoms are fairly easy to detect and commonly include scaly swellings of the scalp, raised red rings on the scalp, as well as dandruff, itching, and bald patches occurring where the fungus "eats away" at the hair.
Typically, Tinea Capitis affects pre-pubertal children, the majority of whom are boys. A microscopic examination of the scalp and hair usually confirms Tinea Capitis. Treatments of the disease range from oral medications such as griseofulvin, applying topical creams to the affected area, to sprinkling antifungal granules on a child’s food. Generally the effective therapy rate of Tinea Capitis is quite high.
Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a disorder of the skin that affects the scalp and causes excessive itching and flakiness. Temporary hair loss commonly occurs in those suffering from Seborrhoeic dermatitis and in some cases can even lead to permanent hair loss if the hair follicles are severely damaged.
Environmental, hereditary, hormonal, and immune-system factors have all been associated with causing Seborrheic dermatitis, although the exact cause remains unclear. Seborrheic dermatitis affects both adults and children, although in children an excessive intake of vitamin A has been linked to causing the disease. Treatments include cleansers and shampoos which contain sulfur, salicylic acid, and coal tar.
This list of hair disorders is only informational and not meant to replace professional medical advice. If you suspect that you are suffering from a hair disease or any other medical condition, it is essential to consult with a doctor or dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
See also:
Scalp problems