What is alopecia?
Alopecia is a pathological hair loss process, which can have many causes.
What types of alopecia are there?
There are 4 main types of baldness. It includes an androgenic, diffuse, focal and cicatricial alopecia. Each type has a different etiology, which is often difficult to diagnose.
What is androgenic alopecia?
This is a kind of alopecia, associated with an imbalance of hormones. In general, this type of hair loss affects men.
What is diffuse (symptomatic) alopecia?
This is an evenly distributed baldness, which is more common in women. This type of hair loss is most often caused by stress and external factors (the negative effect of various drugs, diets).
What is focal alopecia?
Focal type of hair loss is associated with malfunctions in the immune system. This pathology is not fully understood and it is impossible to reliably name its causes as it is due to an auto immune attack.
What is cicatricial alopecia?
This type of alopecia is characterized by inflammation of the hair follicles, resulting in the formation of scars. Various infectious diseases can become a cause. This type of hair loss is the least common.
What are the methods of treating alopecia?
Today, the following methods are used to treat the onset of baldness:
- Drug treatment - corticosteroids, photochemistry
- Physiotherapy and manual techniques - massage, acupuncture
- Hair transplantation - FUE, FUT and Arthas
- Stem cells
How does the drug treatment of baldness work?
The method includes taking the following medicines:
- Corticosteroids - drugs designed to stabilize the balance of hormones responsible for hair growth
- Vitamin complexes - restore metabolic processes, saturate hair follicles with the necessary components
- Antifungal drugs - effective in cases where alopecia is caused by fungal diseases
How does physiotherapy work in the treatment of hair loss?
Physiotherapy methods improve microcirculation in the skin of the head and stimulate hair growth. They include:
- Therapy using devices (darsonvalization, electrotherapy)
- Manual techniques (massage, acupuncture, plasmolifting)
How do stem cells work in the treatment of alopecia?
For stem cell treatment of hair loss, stem cells are drawn from the adipose tissue of the patient. The fat is drawn first, then stem cells are filtered from it and placed in a special solution. This solution is prepared from the patient's plasma that is rich in plasma. The doctor makes a hypodermic injection. The stem cells that were placed in the solution create growth factors that provoke the regeneration of the hair follicles.
How is hair loss treated with hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation is the only guaranteed method of treating alopecia. Today, medicine uses 2 basic methods of hair transplantation. These are a seamless and a patchwork technique. They consist of extracting hair from places with normal hair covering and transferring them to the problem zone.
Hair transplantation - does it hurt?
No, the procedure is absolutely painless. It is carried out under local anesthesia and the patient is conscious.
Do people need to be hospitalized for a hair transplantation procedure?
No, the procedure is done on an outpatient basis. Immediately after the procedure the patient can go home.
Do people need special preparation for the hair transplantation procedure?
Yes, in case of complex treatment, a doctor can prescribe:
- Drug therapy for several months before transplantation
- A week before surgery the patient should stop taking blood thinning medications (aspirin, etc.)
- For two days before the procedure a patient should refrain from drinking alcohol
How is FUE hair transplantation method conducted?
FUE hair transplantation method uses extraction of hair follicles from those zones on the human body where there is normal hair growth. The most common area is the back of the head. It is also possible to take follicles from the skin on the chest, legs or even from the pubic area.
- From the donor zone grafts are extracted one by one with a special tool - small areas consisting of several hair follicles. The extracted grafts are placed in a special sterile container. This container is filled with nutrients, beneficial for follicles.
- Each extracted graft is checked under a microscope and it also undergoes a special treatment, which promotes early engraftment. Processed materials are placed in a cold place for storage until the next stage.
- With the help of a needle the doctor makes the necessary number of holes for the subsequent transplantation.
- When the preparation of the problem area is over, the transplant is implanted - the extracted grafts are placed inside the holes.
How the FUT hair transplantation method works?
This method involves transplanting parts of skin taken from the back of the patient`s head. The donor zone is then sewn together, and the scar is not visible under the hairline. This technique has lost its popularity after the appearance of the FUE transplantation method. However, some patients still choose this method because of possible contraindications to FUE.
How postoperative period is conducted?
For one day after transplantation a patient needs to wear a bandage. The patient can wash his/her hair only 2 days after transplantation.
When will the results become visible?
A month after the procedure, the transplanted hair will begin to fall out. This is normal, because the hair follicles themselves will remain; new hair will begin to grow. The final result can be estimated after 3-6 months.
Where are hair follicles transplanted?
The hair is usually transplanted into the scalp. Now this procedure is also popular for the beard and eyebrows.
What are the innovative methods of treating alopecia?
The latest development in the field of treating alopecia is an invention called ARTAS. It's a robot that transplants the hair. With its help, the doctor carries out the transplantation process several times faster. The participation of a doctor in transplantation is by no means excluded, but robotization of the process significantly improves it. Due to the speed of implantation of the follicles, the percentage of hair which remained permanent is much higher.
What is the best method for treating baldness?
The best option is the complex treatment of alopecia. All these methods are basically symptomatic treatment. In order to treat the cause of hair loss, the patient will have to undergo many examinations to find it. In most cases, alopecia is provoked by malfunctions that require treatment. For each case, the treatment method is selected separately. Sometimes drug therapy is sufficient to restore hair growth. In other cases, long-term treatment, including hair transplantation, is required.
What are indications for hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation can be performed for any patient in case he/she does not have diabetes, infectious or mental illnesses. Also, a doctor may refuse to conduct transplantation due to too little hair amount in the donor zone.
Where to treat hair loss?
Treatment of alopecia, including transplantation, is offered in clinics of Germany and Turkey.
How much does hair loss therapy cost?
The cost of treating alopecia will depend on its type, the method of treatment and the chosen clinic. Hair transplantation abroad incur costs from € 2500 to € 7000.
Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova