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UK Medical Health – Important New Website Launched.

Posted by Gary Heron, on September 3rd, 2007, under TRICHOTALK

Welcome to UK Medical Health. We aim to bring you pertinent health and medical stories from around the world. Our topics will be far reaching and will encompass all aspects of health care and new medical practices.

With links to top sites and featuring breaking medical stories; UK Medical Health will have it’s finger on the pulse.

Direct Link:

http://www.ukmedicalhealth.co.uk/

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Alopecia: What You Need To Know (by Daily Mail).

Posted by Gary Heron, on September 3rd, 2007, under ALOPECIA AREATA

                                                                  gail-porter.jpg                                                                   

Troubled TV presenter Gail Porter has lost almost all her trademark blonde hair as a result of the condition alopecia areata. Gail, who has said she is ‘bald but not afraid’, said last week that she lost most of her hair overnight while she was in Los Angeles a month ago.

Here, we call on the experts to explain a condition that affects around one in 100 people in the UK, but is still poorly understood:

What is alopecia?

Alopecia, which causes baldness, is thought to be an auto-immune disorder, with the immune system -the body’s defence system – turning on itself.

“There are different types of alopecia with different patterns of hair loss,” says Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute of Trichologists.

“Alopecia areata – which Gail Porter suffers from – affects around one in 100 people in the UK and has been linked with stress.”

What are the symptoms?

“Typically, one or more small bald patches, about the size of a 50p piece, appear on the scalp. The hair can start to regrow at one site, while another bald patch develops. Hair may also begin to thin all over the head.”

Do the symptoms get worse over time?

Marilyn Sherlock says that there is no way to tell if the symptoms will continue to get worse.

“In some cases, people go on to lose all their scalp hair, which is known as alopecia totalis.

“In rare cases, they may lose all their body hair, too, known as alopecia universalis.

“The hair loss can be sudden and dramatic, as in Gail Porter’s case, or happen slowly over weeks and months.”

What causes it?

“For some reason, the body’s immune system begins to attack its own hair follicles. Special white blood cells in the body, known as T-lymphocytes, cause the hair to stop growing.

“Hair enters into the resting phase and then falls out. The follicles remain active, however, and may start to produce new hair shafts at any time.”

Can worry make it worse?

Stress has been shown to prolong the problem.

“People, particularly young, imageconscious women like Gail Porter, can be extremely anxious about their condition,” says Mrs Sherlock.

“Sadly, this can make the symptoms worse and it becomes a vicious cycle.”

Are there other symptoms apart from baldness?

“Occassionally, the scalp may become sore or sensitive.

“Some people complain that it feels as if their scalp is bruised,” says Mrs Sherlock.

There is no itching, scaling or soreness, however, and the skin on the scalp looks healthy.

The nails may be affected, however, and can look pitted and ridged. Bare patches on eyebrows and beards may also appear.

Is it an inherited condition?

There is strong evidence to suggest that alopecia, like other auto-immune diseases, runs in families. About 25 per cent of patients have a family history of the disorder.

“There does need to be a trigger, however,” says Mrs Sherlock. Triggers that have been identified include stress, sudden shock and even thyroid gland malfunction.

Who gets it?

Alopecia areata usually affects teenagers and young adults, but it can affect people of any age. It is just as common among men as women.

“Children as young as two have been treated for alopecia, as well as people in advanced old age,” says Ruth Bowdage of Alopecia UK.

What about breast-feeding mothers?

Women who have recently given birth do report excessive hair loss, although this is not usually alopecia.

During pregnancy, hormones prolong the growing cycle; excessive shedding afterwards is simply the loss of this hormonal protection.

Is there a cure?

There is no known cure, although there are various treatments which may be effective for some people.

“No one can ever give a patient an accurate prognosis,” explains Mrs Sherlock.

“Some people may get all their hair growing back. Others may have total hair loss for the rest of their lives.” The more dramatic the case of hair loss, the less likely it is to be reversed. The vast majority of sufferers do experience some re-growth, however, which can be any texture and colour.

There are some treatments for alopecia, although most sufferers are advised to wait and see. In mild cases of alopecia areata, doctors may prescribe corticosteroid cream or lotion, which is applied to the bald area.

Retin A cream may help to reverse the problem, or Dithranol (a tar-like ointment) discourages the overgrowth of the outer layer of skin cells.

For more severe cases, doctors may recommend steroid injections or even immunosuppressive drugs. However, this can lead to a lowered resistance to infection.

Sometimes irritants can be applied to the scalp to cause an allergic reaction: the theory is that the harmful TLymphocytes will switch their action away from the hair follicles.

Can zinc supplements work?

Some studies show that zinc supplements, taken orally, may have a beneficial effect by helping to moderate the immune system. However, very high doses are needed. Unpleasant side effects include vomiting and diarrhoea.

Do hair growth treatments, like Regaine, help?

Topical Minoxidil solution, marketed as Regaine, can be useful for some patients with mild alopecia areata. It is not effective for people with the severe form of the condition.

Is it life-threatening?

While the condition is embarrassing and inconvenient, it is not dangerous.

“However, it can be extremely traumatic,” says Ruth Bowdage, “and many sufferers say they have been humiliated because people still treat it as a joke.” “It would be much easier if this type of hair loss was treated seriously as a medical condition.”

Will it recur?

Many people suffer a single episode of alopecia and never have the problem again. Others will have regular episodes throughout their lives.

It is estimated that in approximately 20 per cent of cases in the UK, hair loss recurs or becomes permanent.

For more information on alopecia click here:

http://www.alopeciaonline.org.uk/

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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Hair Transplant Surgery: Does It Work? Will I Be Guranteed A Full Head Of Hair?

Posted by Gary Heron, on August 31st, 2007, under HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY

Question: Hair Transplant Surgery: Does It Work? Will I Be Guaranteed A Full Head Of Hair?

Answer: The simple and unhappy answer is NO. You end up with a fuller looking head of hair after many costly surgical procedures. The reality of your genetic hair loss situation is that your genetic hair loss pattern will continue and you will need to use hair regrowth stimulants:

1. Stabilise hair loss.
2. Thwart its advance over time.
3. Strengthen any transplanted hair relocated.

This may not be the answer you are looking for as many patients see surgery as the best option as they tire of using medications on a daily basis. Remember surgery is a costly on going exercise.

The drawbacks are as follows:
1. Relocated hair is lost during the procedure.
2. You can only achieve the appearance of a fuller looking front hairline or crown.
3. If you do not like the results they are irreversible.
4. You will never achieve a full head of hair.
5. You will still need to use daily stablisers to prevent further hair loss. 

In saying this there are some very good surgeons out there achieving fabulous results? Identifying the best is a minefield. But from our experience a good place to start would be to take a look at the Bosley Medical Group on www.bosley.com

 kenny-rogers.gif   Kenny Rogers

Grafts are transplanted hairs that are removed from one part of the scalp and are grafted, or transplanted, into the balding area of the scalp. Some commonly used grafting techniques are slit grafts, micro grafting and mini grafting.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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Is My Hair Loss Permanent? What Is A Hair Growth Cycle?

Posted by Gary Heron, on August 30th, 2007, under HAIR LOSS FACTS

Question: Is my hair loss permanent? What is a hair growth cycle?

Answer: It is normal to lose 75-100 individual hairs daily. With male pattern baldness, new hair growth is diminishing in taking the place of hairs that are shed. Hair is constantly growing in cycles. These cycles are as follows:

ANAGEN – This is the growth cycle in which cells divide and elevate to the upper portion of the hair bulb, as dead cells. Hairs in this growth stage become longer and larger. The anagen cycle normally runs in durations of two to seven years.

CATAGEN- During the catagen stage the hair is separated from it’s nutritional source and hair growth stops. The follicle begins to shrink and no melanins, which create hair colour, are added. The duration of this cycle is normally two to three weeks.

TELOGEN- During this cycle (which ranges in time from one to four months) the hair either falls out or is forced out by new growth. With a normal growing head of hair the anagen cycle begins again at this stage. Each individual hair is totally independent. The anagen stage normally involves between eighty-five percent and ninety five percent of the total number of hairs on one’s scalp. The catagen stage normally involves less than one percent of the total amount of scalp hairs. The telogen cycle involves five to fifteen percent of total scalp hairs.

When you are losing hair through pattern hair loss, the catagen and telogen stage are not accelerated but instead, the anagen stage diminishes on a gradual basis with the hair growing finer and finer and also shorter until growth is virtually invisible.

Call one of our trichologists and identify which male pattern you are and seek advice as to what treatments are available and possible in your particular case as not everyone is treatable and results will vary from patient to patient.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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Hair Loss: Does Saw Palmetto Work In The Battle Against Hair Loss?

Posted by Gary Heron, on August 30th, 2007, under HAIR LOSS SCIENCE

Question: Does Saw Palmetto Work?

Answer: Saw Palmetto botanical name is Serenoa Repens. This plant extract is also known as Sabal or Permixon. Saw Palmetto has been used to treat an enlarged prostate in the same way as Proscar. Biostim has a strong Saw Palmetto (Serenoa Repens) base. It is used in the Biostim formulations to treat Androgenetic Alopecia.

Link to further information on Saw Palmetto and Biostim:

http://www.thewestminsterpractice.com/medical_breakthrough.asp

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