What Your Hair Says About Your Health

dermatologists in Wilsonville

Great looking hair can provide an enormous boost to your self-confidence while also making a statement about who you are as an individual. Of course, the dermatologists in Wilsonville at Valley View Dermatology want you to know that your hair can also say a lot about your health as well.

Some types of medical conditions impact not only your overall health but your hair as well. Some of these issue may suggest you need to take better care of your scalp or hair to avoid embarrassing issues like dandruff while others may portend to a more serious issue. To help decode what your hair may be saying about your health, here are a few facts to keep in mind about your hair and your health.

Dandruff isn’t Dangerous

While a potential cause of embarrassment, dandruff isn’t some type of contagious disease that will leave your head looking like a snow-covered mountain. Many people have heard and believe that dandruff is caused by not washing your hair enough, but researchers are actually unsure of what causes this common condition.

One prominent theory suggests that dandruff is caused by a buildup of fungus. Other theories suggest that the condition is caused by a variety of underlying factors that range from oily skin and stress to cold weather and eczema. Fortunately, this means that while dandruff may be embarrassingly annoying, it doesn’t have any impact on our overall health.

To decrease the buildup of dead skin cells that contribute to the dandruff on your collar or shoulder, try using an antidandruff shampoo on a daily basis until the condition is under control. Just like you need to find the moisturizer for your skin type, you may need to try several different types of antidandruff shampoo until you find one that works best for you.

If you just cannot find an over-the-counter brand that works, schedule an appointment to see our dermatologists in Wilsonville at the Dermatology Clinic. Special prescription-only antidandruff may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

But Yellow Dandruff is Another Story

While white dandruff that stands out on your black turtle neck sweater sleeve is no cause for concern, that may change if flakes you see are yellow and greasy. This type of dandruff may actually be a symptom of seborrheic dermatitis. This inflammatory skin condition can develop anywhere on the body there are a lot of oil gland, such as the face and scalp.

While seborrheic dermatitis is often the result of hormones, fungus and certain types of neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, may be the cause. Regardless of what’s causing the seborrheic dermatitis the condition is still treated the same way as regular dandruff – with antidandruff shampoos.

Shedding May Happen More Than You Think

While no one has an exact number, experts estimate that the average adult may shed up to 100 or more hairs each day. While that number may cause you to start checking your hairline in the mirror, this much shedding is perfectly normal and in no way a suggestion you’re going bald.

Roughly 90 percent of the 100,000 hair follicles on your head continue to produce hair at any given time. The other 10 percent have entered a rest phase known as telogen, as the hair they’ve produce starts to fall out after 2 to 3 months. Fortunately, what falls about is then replaced by new hair, and the cycle of growth/shedding continue anew.

Baldness is Relative

While a lot of hair loss is completely natural, there are cases where the hair that falls out never comes back. Baldness is far more common in men than women, but both genders can feel the pain of hair loss.

For men, baldness is typically a hereditary condition that was passed on in the genes of their family. Typically, the mother’s side of the family has greater influence on whether permanent hair loss occurs, so take a close look at grandpa to get a potential glimpse of what the future may have in store for your hair.

Male pattern baldness often beings with a receding hair line that starts at the temples, before developing further at the crown of your head. This two-pronged attack causes a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair to develop around the sides of the head. Certain types of medication – such as minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia) can help to slow hair loss.

While women may notice their hair beginning to thin as they age, female-pattern baldness most commonly develops at the top of the head. Unlike their male counterparts, women rarely go bald, and typically lose their hair far more slowly than men. Contrary to popular belief, longer hair doesn’t cause unwanted strain on the root that causes more hair to fall out. Neither does brushing or washing your hair.

In women, excessive hair loss typically has an underlying condition that a doctor can diagnose and correct. If you start to notice an excess of hair in the drain or significant thinning has started to occur, contact our dermatologists in Wilsonville at Valley View Dermatology to schedule an exam.