Monday, October 17, 2016

Balding Symptoms 101: Don't Ignore that Emerging Patch!

Ask people who are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of some magical cure that can remove their baldness and you would be surprised to realise that many of them had ignored the problem during its initial phase – at a time when it was manageable – before snowballing into a full-grown balding pattern!

Whether you are a man or woman, whether you are suffering from Alopecia Areata or Male Pattern Baldness, there is a chance that you might not want to admit that you have an emerging balding patch. There is a bit of psychology involved here – the human mind seeks comfort in ignorance when a problem seems most likely on the horizon. Balding has a similar effect. For nearly everyone, balding is a scare. The very thought of having a receding line induces the unwanted action of concealing the facts.

In this small discussion, we are going to talk about why and how identifying, taking note and diagnosing an emerging balding patch is critical. 

What does the usual balding patch look like during its initial days - when first sighted?

Most balding patches are small when they become visible for the first time. The shape is usually round to oval or somewhere in between. Sometimes, the patch might be diffused without a particular geometric shape. Essentially, all these patches are most likely to have extensive hair thinning. For those with genuinely dense hair growth, spotting the patch might take some more time. However, they have the advantage of an emerging balding patch not being immediately visible. Others are not so blessed and their patch might be instantly spotted by friends or family. Essentially, every bald patch will have some form of hair fall — thinning, brittle hair strands, or complete uprooting from the root, making the underlying scalp more visible.

What are the more tangible, easy-to-feel signs of a developing balding?

If you happen to rub oil into your hair, it might seem that a certain section of the head now seems more sensitive, as if you are directly touching the scalp — these are first, often ignored indications of a developing balding patch. Some balding spots might be oversensitive. This can happen in case you have an extremely dry scalp or there is a fungal infection involved. Some degree of mild itching or tingling is also an indicator but this is not a very affirmative sign. However, any tenderness or burning sensation is a more definite giveaway that there is something not right.

Why is inflammation or infection a common reason in cases of BALDNESS being confused with a skin condition?

This is because the underlying surface, below the hair, is the scalp. The scalp contains the hair roots and if you have an infection or inflammation affecting the skin, there is a chance that this might affect the hair growth too. Dandruff, which seems like a very normal hair problem, might be the symptom of an underlying skin condition like aggravating Psoriasis. In such circumstances, the scalp will increasingly find it difficult to support new hair growth. The emerging patch is most likely to be scaly and dry here with small layers of the scalp coming off even with minimal scratching. Similarly, fungal infections of the skin often lead to short-term hair loss. However, if not properly rooted out, they might sink deeper into the scalp and cause profuse hair fall.

What are some common symptoms associated with a growing balding spot?

There are some tell-tale signs while others are not so easily visible. Along with hair thinning, you might experience a gradual dip in hair density. Easy to split hair, hair strands becoming increasingly repetitive in the comb, thinning eyebrows/eyelashes, or your hairdresser’s opinion underlining significant reduction in hair density in a certain part of head — these are all indicative of a possible balding spot in the making!

Concluding Thoughts

We recommend seeing a Trichologist or even a general physician as soon as you fear you have a bald spot in the making. Similarly, any hair fall or hair thinning pattern that sustains itself beyond a week needs a medical intervention. This is when being a bit proactive can help you from a life of contemplating wigs, hair extensions or hair transplants. Hair thinning and brittle hair also indicates that you might want to relook your hair styling regimen. All those chemical-loaded styling tools might be damaging your hair. Re-evaluate the type of shampoo or conditioner you are using — is it just cleaning your hair or also making it stronger and shinier with every application like IHT9 Shampoo and Conditioner?

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