Hair problems in women

    January 1997 in “Clinics in Dermatology
    D.J.J. Van Neste, D. H. Rushton
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    TLDR Hair problems are common and distressing for women, but increasing knowledge of treatments offers hope.
    In 1997, a study involving about 400 people in a European urban environment found that hair problems are common among women, with 25% experiencing issues that do not lead to balding. The study showed that 75% of patients would not seek dermatological advice, instead turning to pharmacists, general practitioners, and hairdressers. Psychological distress was prevalent among women with hair loss. The study emphasized the need for understanding hair physiology and the use of diagnostic techniques like the phototrichogram. It identified chronic telogen effluvium and diffuse androgen-dependent alopecia as the most common hair problems in young women. The importance of iron levels in chronic telogen effluvium was noted, recommending a daily iron supplement of 100 mg for treatment. For diffuse androgen-dependent alopecia, hormonal treatments like cyproterone acetate and spironolactone were used, with the addition of ethinylestradiol in some cases. The document also highlighted the potential role of hormonal replacement therapy in peri- and postmenopausal women and the effectiveness of topical 5% minoxidil in activating dormant hair follicles. The study concluded that hair problems, while not life-threatening, cause significant distress and that there is a growing understanding of hair loss treatments.
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