Can an underlying skin condition affect hair growth? Unfortunately for many, the answer is yes. Fortunately, however, with proper awareness and treatment options, hair loss can be slowed down or even stopped.
Hair loss affects both men and women and can change how a person looks and feels by giving the appearance of premature aging and lowering an individual’s self-esteem. Various skin conditions have been linked to increased hair loss. It is important for patients to be aware of this possibility so as best to prevent hair loss, or to properly address hair loss that has already begun.
The following is a list of some of the most common skin conditions that have been found to be associated with accelerated hair loss:
- Ringworm. Ringworm is a fungal infection that can appear around the body but that typically manifests on the scalp. Because the fungus infiltrates the patient’s hair follicles, ringworm can make hair brittle and easily breakable–causing hair loss and bald patches. The condition is most commonly addressed with an antifungal medication prescribed by a dermatologist.
- Psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes cells to build up much more quickly than usual, potentially leading to hair loss. If psoriasis is diagnosed and managed by a dermatologist, hair loss in patients can be stopped and can be reversed.
- Seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis causes the patient’s scalp to be uncomfortably itchy, flakey, and inflamed. The skin condition has been found to be linked with temporary hair loss, and can flare up when the weather gets cold and dry or when the patient is feeling particularly stressed. It can be controlled through certain shampoos and medications.
- Scleroderma. Scleroderma is a relatively rare skin condition that causes the dermis to become hard and tight. The autoimmune condition has been linked to an overproduction of collagen and can cause hair loss, particularly on the patient’s arms and legs. With proper treatment, hair loss resulting from scleroderma can be prevented.
- Sunburn. Though not a traditional “skin condition,” a sunburn can indeed cause hair loss and hair thinning. To protect against the sun’s harmful rays, we recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Don’t let a treatable skin condition get in the way of a healthy head of hair. Our team of New York and New Jersey doctors are here to help. We are among the most experienced and professional in the nation, and together, comprise a full-service, one-stop dermatological shop. With twenty-two locations between the two states, we are here to serve all your hair loss needs and answer any questions or concerns. For a list of our locations, click here.