Alopecia means hair loss. There are many causes including autoimmune, hormonal, behavioral, stress, and sometimes unknown causes. Some patients even have multiple kinds of hair loss at the same time. Depending on the type(s) of hair loss, underlying cause(s), severity and stage, treatment can range from topical medications to oral medications to procedures such as injections, microneedling, platelet rich plasma, and/or hair transplantation. Most of the time, multiple treatments are utilized to optimize regrowth of hair.
Having personally suffered from hair loss, Dr. Buster understands how it can be emotionally distressing to experience. In addition to seeing her own scalp and hair recover, Dr. Buster has treated hair loss hundreds of patients from toddlers to seasoned adults and strives to help patients achieve their goals in reducing or reversing hair loss. An initial hair loss visit is typically around 30 minutes and includes a detailed history (information you give Dr. Buster) as well as physical exam of the scalp and sometimes other hair bearing areas such as eyebrows. Some forms of hair loss can be associated with skin conditions and if one of those if suspected or diagnosed, exam of additional areas may be done. Dr. Buster may also perform 1-2 biopsies to see what is going on microscopically. Biopsy may confirm the type of hair loss, show the type and location of inflammation present (if any), grade the degree of hair loss (in that sample), and confirm the presence or absence of scarring. This can sometimes help Dr. Buster to further tailor your treatment.
Rarely, in extensive cases of hair loss such as when most or all of the hair has been replaced by scar tissue, there are no viable treatments that would regrow hair. In such cases Dr. Buster reviews options that remain such as hair prostheses (e.g., wigs) and camoflauge techniques if those are of interest. Because many forms of hair loss are progressive, it is important to seek care from a board-certified dermatologist–the only type of physician residency-trained to specialize in treatment of hair conditions–as soon as loss is noticed to have the best chance to regain a full head of hair.