Sudden hair loss is a disruption in the hair growth cycle wherein the shedding of hair becomes abnormal and rapid. For most people, the normal rate of hair loss is about 80 to 100 hairs per day; for those with sudden hair loss, the number increases dramatically over a short period of time. This may be a temporary condition, such as telogen effluvium, or a more serious condition, such as alopecia. A person may experience sudden hair loss in different parts of the body, although hair loss is more noticeable in the scalp.
Telogen effluvium is a temporary condition that may be triggered by stress. When some people suffer from stress, a large amount of hair stops growing and moves to the resting stage of the hair growth cycle, called the telogen. The hair eventually falls out of the scalp. In addition to stress, telogen effluvium can be caused by child birth, major surgery, and chemotherapy.
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Some telogen effluvium cases require no treatment. The rate of hair loss normally decreases gradually over a period of about six to eight months. It is likely that the hairs that were shed will be replaced by new hair.
Sudden hair loss can also be caused by skin conditions. Fungal infections, like ringworm, or bacterial infections by Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus can cause inflammation and hair loss. These conditions are usually treatable.
Alopecia, on the other hand, has no cure and often results in permanent hair loss. Some of the types of alopecia include alopecia universalis, alopecia totalis, and alopecia areata. Alopecia universalis causes a person to totally lose his or her hair over the entire body. Total hair loss on the scalp, on the other hand, will be experienced by a person who perhaps has alopecia totalis. If a person undergoes sudden hair loss leading to bald spots in certain locations in the scalp, he may be suffering from alopecia areata.
The treatment of sudden hair loss problems that are considered temporary varies according to the cause. When the hair loss is caused by stress, relaxation, physical exercise, and a healthier diet may resolve the problem. An anti-fungal or antibiotic, on the other hand, is typically administered for hair loss resulting from infection. While most types of alopecia have no cure, steroid injection may be given to those suffering from alopecia areata.
A person who suffers balding as a result of an incurable alopecia ailment may resort to cosmetic solutions in hiding the bald spots. He or she may also want to consider putting on a hairpiece or a wig. Hair transplant may also be considered as an option.