Beauty is all about you

Hairloss and it’s treatment: myths and facts

Myths and Facts about Hair Loss and Treatment

Millions of people around the world deal with hair loss and baldness on a regular basis. The thought itself is stressful for many. Both men and women get disheartened when the early signs of hair loss appear, and look for solutions. Sometimes, the advice from friends and family members adds to the confusion regarding hair loss, as many misconceptions prevail. Let us look at some common myths around hair loss and treatment and clarify them with facts.

Myth 1: Hair loss can happen due to a lot of reasons.

Fact: This is not true. In the majority of men, hair loss is caused by a condition called male pattern baldness. In medical terms, it is called androgenic alopecia. It is caused by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone. This hormone shortens the growth cycle of the hair, which further decreases the size of hair follicles and causes hair loss.

Myth 2: If your father is bald, you will become bald too as it is a genetic condition.

Fact: While it is true that baldness can be genetic, it can be inherited from the maternal side, and not just the paternal side. After all, you acquire genes from both your mother and your father. The possibility of inheriting it depends on the dominant genes. If baldness runs in your family, you are more likely to experience it as well.

Myth 3: Hair loss is only observed in older people as it is age-related.

Fact: This is not true. Hair loss can occur at any age after puberty. It happens gradually and takes years to manifest as complete baldness. If you notice hair loss very early in your life, the outcome will be more severe as you age.

Myth 4: Hair loss happens all of a sudden and without any warning.

Fact: It has been observed that hair loss is a gradual process. It starts at the forehead and temples and progresses to the back of the head. Later on, hair starts to thin on the top of the head, which spreads later. The hair around the sides and the back of the head may remain unaffected, leaving behind a classic U shape.

Myth 5: Hair loss has no treatment options.

Fact: This is not true. There are several options available to treat hair loss. Your doctor may recommend several medicines that can be taken over the counter to slow down hair loss and stimulate hair growth. He may also prescribe medications that are clinically proven to prevent further hair loss. In extreme cases, the doctor may suggest hair grafts and hair transplant therapy. These treatments are scientifically tested and have proved to be safe. 

Myth 6: Regular use of shampoo causes hair loss.

Fact: Does the sight of hair on the bathroom floor after a hair wash terrify you? It is not unusual. You lose some hair regularly after washing it with a shampoo, as part of the growth cycle. According to science, it is normal to lose around 50-100 hairs in a day. Shampoo is not the reason for hair fall. On the contrary, you can improve the health of your hair and scalp by maintaining proper hygiene.

Myth 7: Excessive exposure to sunlight will cause hair loss.

Fact: Not true. We all need a sufficient amount of exposure to sunlight to stay healthy and get vitamin D. Though excessive exposure may cause other problems, it is not the reason for your hair fall.

Myth 8: Baldness occurs because of the use of hats or helmets.

Fact: Although many believe that the use of hats or helmets can cause hair loss, it is not true. Your hair gets all the nutrition it needs from hair follicles, and does not need to be exposed to air.  However, wearing an extremely tight hat frequently may exert pressure on the scalp and may result in hair loss. In medical terms, it is called traction alopecia. By following a few simple hygienic rules and wearing the hat properly, you can avoid this kind of hair damage.

Myth 9: Excessive testosterone is the main reason for hair loss.

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, excessive testosterone levels do not cause hair loss. Hair loss depends on the sensitivity of your hair follicles to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone.

Myth 10: The hair products you are using for your hair and scalp are causing the hair loss.

Fact: Although you might be looking for a valid reason for the hair loss, your styling gels, oils or other hair products are not the reason. Some hair treatments, like bleaching and hair color can damage your hair, but they don’t cause baldness, which is a medical condition. Blow-drying can damage the hair as well but is not related to hair loss.

Myth 11: Hair loss happens due to poor blood circulation in the scalp.

Fact: Do not get carried away by your hairstylist’s recommendation of a massage, to improve the blood circulation of the scalp, to prevent hair loss. Although hair follicles need good blood circulation for healthy growth, it is not the reason for hair loss.

Myth 12: Stress is causing baldness.

Fact: Your friends or family members may have pointed out that your being stressed is causing the hair to fall off. Although stress and emotional strain can cause temporary hair loss, it is not the reason for your baldness. Once you start managing your stress well, the temporary hair loss will be resolved.

Myth 13: Cut your hair to prevent hair loss.

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, cutting your hair does not improve hair growth or minimize hair loss.

To wrap it up, your friends, colleagues and even strangers might offer you a whole list of reasons for your hair loss or baldness, along with some suggestions to manage it in the short and long term. However, you should know that most of their reasons and solutions are based on myths. So, it is better to resort to science, if you wish to treat your hair loss. Your doctor can help in decoding the reason behind the hair loss and guide you appropriately. The good news is that there are several treatment options available that can prevent or control hair fall, and are safe for both men and women.

Acne Myths and Facts

Busting Common Acne Misconceptions

Acne is a skin condition caused by 3 components within the skin – the oil-producing sebaceous glands, hair follicles, and dead skin cells. 

  1. The glands are responsible for producing oil, lubrication, and protection.  
  2. The hair follicles, some fine and some coarse, protrude out to the surface of the skin. 
  3. Also, the skin constantly repairs itself by producing new cells and losing old cells.  

Acne is when the hair follicles get blocked with excessive oil and dead cells, leading to the formation of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and even pus-filled red bumps (infected).  

It is a very common condition in the growing years, especially if one has oily skin, affecting almost 80% of the population during the teenage years and up to 90% of people across all age groups. It is also a chronic condition which at least runs its course for a few years before disappearing.

Myths related to acne

With teenage years being a very crucial period when people get very conscious about their looks, acne is a major concern. Severe acne can be very distressing. The variety of acne care products out in the market is proof of how desperate people are to get rid of acne.  However, there are many myths about acne. Some of them are:

  1. Acne is age-related:  Though teenagers do experience slightly more acne, it can occur at any age.  Even people in their 50s (both men and women) can have severe acne. 
  2. Acne is not caused by stress: This is a vicious cycle. People get worried about their looks with acne. Consequently, they get stressed, making it worse.  Therefore, stress per se does not cause acne but getting stuck in this cycle does.
  3. Food correlation to acne: A young boy or girl with acne is likely to get multiple advice about avoiding chocolate, oily foods, caffeine, etc., to control acne. Studies have proven that there is no definite correlation between oil consumption and acne. The use of topical oil products and greasy creams on the skin, however, can make it worse as the oil or grease comes in direct contact with the skin.
  4. Acne is contagious:  While some people believe that touching another person’s skin can spread the acne, it is not true. Acne bacteria do not spread from one person to another, like other bacterial infections. It is, however, advisable to not share towels or soaps with someone who has acne for hygiene reasons.
  5. People with acne should not use makeup: Acne does not get worse by wearing makeup. However, it is important to choose products wisely and avoid making the skin greasier and oilier which can definitely worsen the condition.
  6. The best treatment is just to wait for it to heal: This is not true. It is important to seek proper treatment if you have acne, especially if they are not healing, because only your dermatologist or doctor can give you the right prescription.
  7. Get rid of the acne by squeezing it: It is not a good idea to squeeze or pop the acne because it may leave a scar on your skin, making the situation worse.
  8. Toothpaste can clean the skin: Although toothpaste is made up of a few components which can have a drying effect on your acne, it is still not recommended. This is because it can cause irritation and allergy on the skin. Therefore, it is vital to visit a doctor to get the right treatment.

Treatment for acne

  1. Acne treatment ranges from hygiene habits like regular washing of face to keep the skin oil-free.
  2. Anti-acne creams and lotions that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide and retinoids are widely available and used.
  3. The first one acts as a cleanser and the second compound reduces inflammation and attacks bacteria-causing bacteria.  
  4. In more severe cases, if infected, antibiotics may be required.

  The exact treatment approach, however, would depend on the skin type and severity of the condition.

Fungal infection: Future danger to society

Ring worm infection is very common now days in India. If someone is infected with fungal infection (Ring worm), patient should avoid self medication and visit Dermatologist. Since four to five years fungal infection has become difficult to treat disease in some cases. Before this period ring worm could be treated with two weeks medicines only, but now a day it requires four to six weeks therapy. In some cases even six weeks therapy remains ineffective.

Read more “Fungal infection: Future danger to society”