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Illness & Medication

Illness and Medication

The stress of illness causes hair follicles to go into their resting (telogen phase) and this causes the hair to stop growing temporarily. This means that hair sheds but is not replaced by new growth.

Here are some of the most common illnesses that cause hair loss:

 

Thyroid disease

Thyroid disease can cause hair loss and general thinning all over the scalp. Hair tends to grow again when the condition is treated, though this can take several months.

 

Lupus

This is an immune condition which can cause hair loss. The hair often becomes thin and patchy, and sometimes, the rash caused by the condition can leave permanent bald patches.

 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

This is an endocrine disorder in women, caused by an imbalance of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. This imbalance leads to the growth of ovarian cysts. Many women with PCOS have a higher levels of the male hormones Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and Testosterone, known as androgens. In some women with PCOS, the hair follicles become sensitive to androgens which slows down hair growth on the head but causes excessive growth of facial hair.

 

Medications and hair loss

Hair loss can be an unwanted side effect of some medications. Drugs can cause hair loss by interfering with the hair’s normal cycle of growth. The drug can either make the hair follicles go into their resting phase too early and fall out, or it can make the hair fall out when it is in the anagen (growth) phase.

Medications that can cause hair loss

ACE inhibitors

Anticoagulants

Antidepressants

Anticonvulsants

Beta blockers

Contraceptives

Corticosteroids

NSAIDs

Retinoids and derivatives

Statins

Thyroid medications

PCOS & Diabetic medication