Hair loss can have a devastating effect on your mental health and sense of self. Alopecia is a broad medical term for hair loss, and it can occur for various reasons. For instance, the autoimmune disease alopecia areata causes your immune system to attack your hair follicles. Traction alopecia, however, is caused by hairstyles that pull tightly on the hair.
Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for alopecia. The best treatment option for you depends on the type of alopecia you have and the extent of your hair loss. The following are some of the most popular alopecia treatments:
Oral JAK inhibitors, including Olumiant and Litfulo, are used to treat alopecia. Oral JAK inhibitors have been known for their hair regrowth capabilities. Oral therapy treatment has higher effectiveness than external methods of administration.
Topical immunotherapy is a treatment that applies chemicals to the scalp that cause an allergic reaction. This treatment stimulates the immune system, which promotes hair growth. Topical immunotherapy is very effective for people with alopecia areata, but the side effects can be uncomfortable.
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is an over-the-counter topical treatment for hair loss. It promotes blood flow to the scalp, stimulating dormant hair follicles to grow again. Minoxidil may not be effective for extensive hair loss, but it can improve your results if you combine it with other topical treatments.
Anthralin is a topical cream initially created as a psoriasis treatment, but it can also treat mild alopecia. The substance causes an irritant reaction in your scalp, which triggers your immune system and promotes hair growth. Anthralin is easy to use and can be applied at home, but you should only use it under your dermatologist’s guidance.
Topical corticosteroids are creams or ointments that reduce inflammation and irritation. Corticosteroids resemble cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone produced by your adrenal glands. Topical steroids can support regrowth after mild hair loss, but a strong topical product may be needed to fight more extensive hair loss.
Like topical corticosteroids, oral corticosteroids suppress inflammation around your hair follicles. Oral corticosteroids may be more effective at treating advanced hair loss than topical creams. However, they also can cause several side effects, including stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and muscle weakness. Additionally, some patients find that their hair loss reoccurs when they stop taking the medication.
Corticosteroid injections are administered directly into the sites of hair loss. This is one of the most commonly used treatments for alopecia areata because it can stimulate hair growth in just a few weeks. Unlike many other treatments, though, corticosteroid injections cannot be administered at home. You’ll need to visit your dermatologist to receive the shots every four to six weeks until you reach your hair growth goals.
Alopecia can be a complex condition to live with, but support is available. If you’re looking for alopecia treatment in Glenview, IL, Reserve Dermatology and Aesthetics is here to help. Dr. Damstetter will evaluate your hair loss and discuss the best treatment options based on your unique circumstances. Contact us today to learn more.