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Don't Let Hair Loss Tangle You Up: Dermatologists Can Identify Common Hair Disorders and Offer Solutions
Date:2/3/2008

hniques to create a natural look that is virtually undetectable. However, Dr. McMichael cautioned that hair transplants are simply filling in lost hair and should still be used in conjunction with a topical or oral medical therapy to prevent further hair loss.

Recently, a new light treatment based on the technology of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), also known as Laser PhotoTherapy, was approved by the FDA to regrow hair. This technology was developed after it was noted that some patients undergoing laser hair removal would experience increased hair growth in spots surrounding the treatment area. As such, the concept of scattering light to generate hair growth was born -- albeit with only a small percent of patients undergoing the light procedure actually growing more hair. However, Dr. McMichael believes more studies need to be done to validate its effectiveness. "Unfortunately, I don't think the new light therapy lives up to its promise of regrowing hair for most patients," said Dr. McMichael. "But as we gain a better understanding of this technology, it is possible that we can refine it to be more effective in the future."

Telogen Effluvium

Typically triggered by a event -- such as an illness, child birth, loss of a loved one or surgery -- telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss that occurs as a result of the body's natural physiologic response to a stressor. As a result, there is a sharp increase in the amount of hair that is shed. Dr. McMichael noted that patients might not link an event to their hair loss, since hair typically doesn't shed for about three months after a stressful event due to the slow hair loss cycle.

"In about 75 percent of patients experiencing hair shedding, we can link the cause to a past event," said Dr. McMichael.

While in most cases, hair will fully regrow on its own in a few months without any medical intervention, Dr. McMichael adds, "In other cases, iron deficiency, a thyroid problem or even improp
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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