What are possible medical causes for hair loss in a 23 year old male?Hair Loss Skin, Hair & Nails
Hi Doctors, I am a 23-year-old male. I recently started noticing significant loss of hair throughout my head. I am aware about male pattern baldeness, but I am concerned whether hair loss could be due to any other types of serious underlying medical conditions. Seeking your expertise and advice to this question. Thank you.
Hi. Alopecia or male pattern baldness is responsible for the vast majority of hair loss in men. While there are many possible reasons people lose hair including serious diseases, reaction to certain medications and in rare cases extremely stressful events, most hair loss in men are inherited.
What male pattern baldness sufferers are actually inheriting are hair follicles with a genetic sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT begin to miniaturise, shortening the lifespan of each hair follicle affected. Eventually, these affected follicles stop producing cosmetically acceptable hair.
Given that the vast majority of hair loss in men is androgenic alopecia, the first line treatment aims to inhibit Type II 5-alpha-reductace, the enzyme that converts testosterone to androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT), to arrest the hair loss process. Concurrently, scalp treatments also provide essential nutrients and an environment that promotes hair growth.
Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that moves individual hair follicles from a part of the body called the ‘donor site’ to bald or balding part of the body known as the ‘recipient site’. It is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness.
In this minimally invasive procedure, grafts containing hair follicles that are genetically resistant to balding are transplanted to the bald scalp. It can also be used to restore eyelashes, eyebrows, beard hair, chest hair, pubic hair and to fill in scars caused by accidents or surgery such as face-lifts and previous hair transplants.
Hair transplantation differs from skin grafting in that grafts contain almost all of the epidermis and dermis surrounding the hair follicle, and many tiny grafts are transplanted rather than a single strip of skin.
Since hair naturally grows in groups of 1 to 4 strands of hair, today’s most advanced techniques harvest and transplant these naturally occurring 1 to 4 hair follicular units in their natural groupings.
Thus, modern hair transplantation can achieve a natural appearance by mimicking natural hair. This hair transplant procedure is called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Donor hair can be harvested two different ways: strip harvesting, and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
Hope these helps. All the best!
Dr Kelvin Chua
Hi, there are many possible causes of hair loss. Male pattern hair loss can certainly start at age 23. Often there is a family history of hair loss and there is gradual thinning of the hair, mainly over the front and top of the scalp, while the hairs on the sides are spared.
There is usually no increase in hair fall in male pattern hair loss. If you notice increased hair fall or dropping of hair, this may not be due to male pattern hair loss but other underlying causes. In general, if there is hair fall of over 100 strands of hair a day, this is abnormal and may be due to a condition called telogen effluvium or underlying medical problems.
There are effective treatments for male pattern hair loss like minoxidil and oral finesteride. Treatment should be started early. I would suggest that you see your doctor or dermatologist to get a proper assessment and treatment of your hair loss.
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