Hair Thinning

Hair thinning is a relatively common issue that can be caused by a wide variety of conditions or concerns. For this reason, it can be frustrating to resolve at home without help from a medical professional. Dermatologists like Dr. Liz Damstetter are trained to recognize common causes behind hair thinning and help patients stabilize their condition and, ultimately, restore healthy hair growth. Seeking a diagnosis and treatment is also important because hair thinning can be a sign of a more serious medical issue. If you notice signs such as your part widening, your hairline receding, dramatic increases in hair shedding, or bald spots beginning to form, do not hesitate to seek care from a qualified dermatologist. Patients dealing with thinning hair in Glenview Illinois and the surrounding area can schedule an appointment at Reserve Dermatology.

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What Causes Hair Thinning?

Hair thinning has many potential causes. These include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Aging
  • Alopecia areata
  • Cancer treatment
  • Childbirth
  • Illness
  • Damage from styling, dyeing, or chemical treatments
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Infection
  • Side effects from medication
  • Psoriasis
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Medical conditions such as thyroid disease

The cause of your hair loss will typically determine whether you lose hair gradually or abruptly, whether treatment is required to regrow healthy hair, and whether hair loss will be permanent. In some cases, Dr. Damstetter may work in coordination with other medical professionals to diagnose the cause of your hair thinning.

Liz Damstetter, MD

Board-Certified Dermatologist

Meet the Doctor

Hair Thinning Signs

Patients may notice hair thinning in different patterns. For example, you may notice that the hairline is receding, the part is widening, your ponytail is becoming thinner, or a bald spot is developing. Other patients may notice an increase in the number of shedding hairs when they brush or wash their hair. Hair thinning may occur suddenly or slowly and gradually over an extended period of time. It can also affect the scalp, facial hair, or body hair.

In addition to hair loss, some conditions may cause other symptoms. These include burning, stinging, itching, redness, or swelling of the scalp. Conditions like psoriasis or infection can result in scaly patches or sores.


“I had a recent visit to Dr Damstetter’s clinic and would like to share my experience. I am a Navy vet(corpsman) and usually get seen at the VA but since we don’t have a Derm provider right now, I was fortunately sent out to her clinic to be evaluated. It’s a nice clinic in a nice area and was relatively easy to find. A pleasant Ms. Nancy at the front desk was helpful in completing the check-in process. Easy day. I did not have to wait long and was soon met by Dr. Damstetter’s assistant, who for classified reasons I will refer to as “Agent 8”. I am sure if she gets tired of providing excellent medical care, her slick-ninja skillset could get her a job with the CIA or MI6 maybe. Short story long, Agent 8 brought me back to the patient area, where I was introduced to Dr Damstetter, who was all the things you would want in a doctor: a knowledgeable provider with a great bedside manner. She gave me a thorough exam which did end up showing that I needed a minor procedure. No worries. I felt well taken care of throughout my visit. No one likes to have to see the doctor, but if you have a dermatological concern, this is a good place with good people who did great by me, and I am thankful to have been sent here.”

“Dr. Liz is truly the best dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She is attentive, kind, and genuinely cares about her patients and their overall skin health. I can not recommend her enough!!!”

“Wonderful experience here! The doctor took the time to educate me on a variety of cosmetic options and gave her candid opinion resulting in just the right amount of cosmetic adjustments! Her staff was delightful and attentive! I would highly recommend for general derm needs and cosmetic adjustments.”

“Dr. Damstetter was the first dermatologist I trusted to do my Botox. She is both knowledgeable and professional and did a fantastic job. I will be using her for any and all of my future needs.”

Treatment Options for Hair Thinning

The correct treatment plan for your hair thinning will vary depending on the cause. Some common options include:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine)
  • Finasteride (Propecia)
  • Spironolactone
  • Antibiotics
  • Vitamins or supplements such as biotin, iron, or zinc
  • Microneedling
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Laser treatments

For some patients, hair thinning may resolve on its own or with proper hair care. For example, those who experience hair thinning after giving birth or losing weight will typically regain their hair over time. Similarly, patients who experience hair thinning as a symptom of an illness or psoriasis will likely see full and healthy hair after treating the root cause. If your hair loss is due to damage from certain hairstyles or chemical processes, Dr. Damstetter can also suggest an at-home hair care routine that will be healthier and gentler for your hair, allowing full hair to grow back over time.

Do hair skin and nail vitamins really work?

Specific types of vitamins may be formulated to help reduce temporary or hormonal types of hair loss. Biotin has never been shown to regrow hair unless someone has a dietary deficiency.

How can I improve my nail health?

Moisturize after every hand washing, avoid frequent manicures and repetitive trauma to nails, and maintain a well-balanced diet for optimal nail health. Low levels of biotin may help strength nail plate formation.

How long does it take biotin to work on hair?

Biotin does not regrow hair unless someone has a true biotin deficiency. The FDA has warned against taking high levels of biotin. The recommended dose for daily use is up to 2,000 micrograms (2 milligrams) daily.

Is nail growth a sign of hair growth?

Although they are different processes and compounds, good nail growth can indicate healthy hair growth. Sudden changes in your hair or nails may affect one or both.

What causes vertical ridges in nails?

There might be many causes of the appearance of vertical nail ridges, from stress to thyroid disease to kidney problems. Most of the time this symptom is harmless.

What deficiencies cause hairloss?

The most common deficiency in modern society to cause hair loss is iron deficiency anemia. About 2-3 months after a major dip in iron (menstrual losses, accident, surgery, or poor dietary absorption) hair may start to dramatically shed. Other deficiencies leading to hair loss include biotin, other B vitamins, vitamin C (scurvy), folic acid and vitamin D. Fortunately, modern societies almost always have these vitamins in a normal diet.

What helps female thinning hair?

A board-certified dermatologist can make recommendations for medications for female pattern hair loss. Vitamins formulated for female pattern hair loss may be modestly helpful. Gentle shampoos and conditions are recommended.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about hair thinning and how to treat it, schedule an appointment with Dr. Damstetter at Reserve Dermatology. Call our Glenview, Illinois office or contact us online.

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