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Is Your Hair Taking a Break?
Date:7/29/2009

radually over the course of several years. Dr. McMichael noted that typically, alopecia areata is initially seen in children and young adults.

Although there are no FDA-approved treatments for alopecia areata, Dr. McMichael explained that dermatologists may use combination therapies off-label such as injectable steroids, topical steroids or minoxidil 5% to try to regrow hair in patches of bald spots. However, she cautioned that not all patients will experience hair regrowth even with treatment -- which could have a significant negative impact on their quality of life.

"Studies examining quality of life issues show that women with hair loss are much more bothered by their condition than men," said Dr. McMichael. "With men, it has become socially acceptable to be bald, but the same is not true for women. Many of my patients report not going to church because they don't want people in the pew behind them to see their thinning hair, or they stop exercising because they don't want to mess up their hair that they've spent so much time styling to try to hide their hair loss. It really can affect many aspects of their lives."

Dr. McMichael is optimistic that research in hair loss will continue to expand in the future. She also suggested that in addition to seeing their dermatologist for proper evaluation and treatment, women who are bothered by their hair loss can find help through the many support groups that are available to patients on the Internet.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 16,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in d
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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