Tag Archives: Alopecia

Ginkgo biloba

Botanical Name : Ginkgo biloba
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Ginkgophyta
Class: Ginkgoopsida
Order: Ginkgoales
Family: Ginkgoaceae
Genus: Ginkgo
Species: G. biloba

Synonyms : Salisburia adiantifolia. Pterophyllus salisburiensis. Ginkgo macrophylla. Salisburia biloba

Common Names: Ginkgo, Maidenhair tree ,
Chinese: Pinyin: Yínxìng; Japanese pronunciation: Icho, Ginnan; Korean: Romaja: Eunhaeng; Vietnamese: Bach quo, Acceptable variant gingko

Habitat :Ginkgo biloba is native to E. Asia – N. China. Found wild in only 2 localities at Guizhou and on the Anhui/Zhejiang border, where it grows on rich sandy soils
Description:
Ginkgos are large deciduous trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m (66–115 ft), with some specimens in China being over 50 m (160 ft). The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall, sometimes within a short space of time (one to 15 days). A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old.

CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Bloom Color: Green. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Ginkgo is a unique species of tree with no close living relatives and is one of the best-known examples of a living fossil.

Ginkgo is a relatively shade-intolerant species that (at least in cultivation) grows best in environments that are well-watered and well-drained. The species shows a preference for disturbed sites; in the “semiwild” stands at Tian Mu Shan, many specimens are found along stream banks, rocky slopes, and cliff edges. Accordingly, ginkgo retains a prodigious capacity for vegetative growth. It is capable of sprouting from embedded buds near the base of the trunk (lignotubers, or basal chi chi) in response to disturbances, such as soil erosion. Old individuals are also capable of producing aerial roots on the undersides of large branches in response to disturbances such as crown damage; these roots can lead to successful clonal reproduction upon contacting the soil. These strategies are evidently important in the persistence of ginkgo; in a survey of the “semiwild” stands remaining in Tianmushan, 40% of the specimens surveyed were multistemmed, and few saplings were present.

China,the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Pest tolerant, Specimen, Street tree. Succeeds in most soil types so long as they are well-drained, though it prefers a rather dry loam in a position sheltered from strong winds. Some of the best specimens in Britain are found growing on soils over chalk or limestone. Plants flower and fruit more reliably after hot summers or when grown in a warm sunny position. Established plants are drought resistant, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Plants can grow in poor hard-packed soil, making the male forms good candidates for street planting. Trees are often used for street planting in towns, only the males are used because the fruit from female plants has a nauseous smell. The fruit contains butanoic acid, it has the aroma of rancid butter. Ginkgo is a very ornamental plant and there are several named forms. This species is the only surviving member of a family that was believed to be extinct until fairly recent times. It has probably remained virtually unchanged for at least 150 million years and might have been growing when the dinosaurs were roaming the earth. It is exceptional in having motile sperm and fertilization may not take place until after the seed has fallen from the tree. This genus belongs to a very ancient order and has affinities with tree ferns and cycads. The ginkgo is usually slow growing, averaging less than 30cm per year with growth taking place from late May to the end of August. Growth is also unpredictable, in some years trees may not put on any new growth whilst in others there may be 1 metre of growth. This variability does not seem to be connected to water or nutrient availability. Trees are probably long-lived in Britain, one of the original plantings (in 1758) is still growing and healthy at Kew (1993). Plants are not troubled by insects or diseases, have they evolved a resistance?. Ginkgo is a popular food and medicinal crop in China, the plants are often cultivated for this purpose and are commonly grown in and around temples. Plants are either male or female, one male plant can pollinate up to 5 females. It takes up to 35 years from seed for plants to come into bearing. Prior to maturity the sexes can often be distinguished because female plants tend to have almost horizontal branches and deeply incised leaves whilst males have branches at a sharper angle to the trunk and their leaves are not so deeply lobed. Branches of male trees can be grafted onto female frees in order to fertilize them. When a branch from a female plant was grafted onto a male plant at Kew it fruited prolifically. Female trees have often been seen in various gardens with good crops of fruit. Seeds are marked by two or three longitudinal ridges, it is said that those with two ridges produce female plants whilst those with three ridges produce male plants. Trees can be coppiced. They can also be pruned into a fan-shape for growing on walls. Another report says that the trees dislike pruning and will often die back as a result. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Flowers have an unpleasant odor.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a sheltered outdoor bed. The seed requires stratification according to one report whilst another says that stratification is not required and that the seed can be sown in spring but that it must not have been allowed to dry out. Germination is usually good to fair. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the following spring and consider giving them some protection from winter cold for their first winter outdoors. Softwood cuttings in a frame in spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. The cutting may not grow away in its first year but usually grows all right after that. Cuttings of mature wood, December in a frame.
Edible Uses: Oil; …...click & see

Seed – raw (in small quantities), or cooked. A soft and oily texture, the seed has a sweet flavour and tastes somewhat like a large pine nut. The baked seed makes very pleasant eating, it has a taste rather like a cross between potatoes and sweet chestnuts. The seed can be boiled and used in soups, porridges etc…CLICK  & SEE  It needs to be heated before being eaten in order to destroy a mildly acrimonious principle. Another report says that the seed can be eaten raw whilst another says that large quantities of the seed are toxic. See the notes above on toxicity for more details. The raw seed is said to have a fish-like flavour. The seed is rich in niacin. It is a good source of starch and protein, but is low in fats. These fats are mostly unsaturated or monosaturated. A more detailed nutritional analysis is available. An edible oil is obtained from the seed

Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Dry weight)

*403 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 10.4g; Fat: 3.3g; Carbohydrate: 83g; Fibre: 1.3g; Ash: 3.5g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 11mg; Phosphorus: 327mg; Iron: 2.6mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 15mg; Potassium: 1139mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 392mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.52mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.26mg; Niacin: 6.1mg; B6: 0mg; C: 54mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Antianxiety; Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Astringent; Cancer; Digestive; Expectorant; Infertility; Ophthalmic; Sedative;
Tonic; Vermifuge.

Ginkgo has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine, where the seed is most commonly used. These uses are mentioned in more detail later. Recent research into the plant has discovered a range of medicinally active compounds in the leaves and this has excited a lot of interest in the health-promoting potential of the plant. In particular, the leaves stimulate the blood circulation and have a tonic effect on the brain, reducing lethargy, improving memory and giving an improved sense of well-being. They have also been shown to be effective in improving peripheral arterial circulation and in treating hearing disorders such as tinnitus where these result from poor circulation or damage by free radicals. The leaves contain ginkgolides, these are compounds that are unknown in any other plant species. Ginkgolides inhibit allergic responses and so are of use in treating disorders such as asthma. Eye disorders and senility have also responded to treatment. The leaves are best harvested in the late summer or early autumn just before they begin to change colour. They are dried for later use. The fruit is antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, cancer, digestive, expectorant, sedative, vermifuge. The fruit is macerated in vegetable oil for 100 days and then the pulp is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis etc. (This report might be referring to the seed rather than the fleshy fruit). The cooked seed is antitussive, astringent and sedative. It is used in the treatment of asthma, coughs with thick phlegm and urinary incontinence. The raw seed is said to have anticancer activity and also to be antivinous. It should be used with caution, however, due to reports of toxicity. The cooked seeds stabilize spermatogenesis.
Other Uses: Oil; Oil; Soap; Wood…….An oil from the seed is used as a fuel in lighting. A soap substitute is produced by mixing the pulp of the seed (is the fruit meant here?) with oil or wine. Wood – light, soft, it has insect repelling qualities.

Known Hazards: The seed contains a mildly acrimonious principle that is unstable when heated. It is therefore best to cook the seed before eating it to ensure any possible toxicity is destroyed. This acrimonious principle is probably 4′-methoxypyridoxine, which can destroy vitamin B6. It is more toxic for children, but the raw nuts would have to be eaten often over a period of time for the negative effects to become apparent. Avoid if known allergy to Ginkgo or cross-react species (cashew, poison ivy). Not recommended for children. Avoid if on blood thinning medication (e.g. warfarin). Discontinue prior to surgery. Avoid parenteral use as possible hypotension, shock, dizziness. Excessive seed ingestion can cause ‘gin-man’ food poisoning.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgo_biloba
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ginkgo+biloba

Advertisements

Saw palmetto,

Botanical Name :Sarenoa serrulata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Coryphoideae
Tribe:     Trachycarpeae
Subtribe: Livistoninae
Genus:     Serenoa
Species: S. repens

Synonyms: Sabal. Sabal serrulata, Serenoa repens

Common Names :Saw palmetto,

 Habitat:Saw palmetto is native to  the Atlantic Coast from South Carolina to Florida, and southern California.It is endemic to the southeastern United States, most commonly along the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains, but also as far inland as southern Arkansas. it grows in clumps or dense thickets in sandy coastal lands or as undergrowth in pine woods or hardwood hammocks.

Description:
Saw palmetto is a fan palm, with the leaves that have a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of about 20 leaflets. It is a hardy plant; extremely slow growing, and long lived, with some plants, especially in Florida where it is known as simply the palmetto, possibly being as old as 500–700 years. The petiole is armed with fine, sharp teeth or spines that give the species its common name. The teeth or spines are easily capable of breaking the skin, and protection should be worn when working around a Saw Palmetto. The leaves are light green inland, and silvery-white in coastal regions. The leaves are 1–2 m in length, the leaflets 50–100 cm long. They are similar to the leaves of the palmettos of genus Sabal. The flowers are yellowish-white, about 5 mm across, produced in dense compound panicles up to 60 cm long. The fruit is a large reddish-black drupe and is an important food source for wildlife and historically for humans. The plant is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species such as Batrachedra decoctor, which feeds exclusively on the plant.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses: This plant is also edible to human beings, but the more green it is the more bitter tasting it would be.

 Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Partially-dried ripe fruit……..CLICK & SEE

Constituents:  Volatile oil, fixed oil, glucose, about 63 per cent of free acids, and 37 per cent of ethyl esters of these acids. The oil obtained exclusively from the nut is a glyceride of fatty acids, thick and of a greenish colour, without fruity odour. From the whole fruit can be obtained by pressure about 1 1/2 per cent of a brownishyellow to dark red oil, soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform and benzene, and partly soluble in dilute solution of potassium hydroxide. The fixed oil is soluble in alcohol, ether, and petroleum benzin. The presence of an alkaloid is uncertain.

Diuretic, sedative, tonic. It is milder and less stimulant than cubeb or copaiba, or even oil of sandalwood. Like these, it has the power of affecting the respiratory mucous membrane, and is used for many complaints which are accompanied by chronic catarrh. It has been claimed that sabal is capable of increasing the nutrition of the testicles and mammae in functional atony of these organs. It probably acts by reducing catarrhal irritation and a relaxed condition of bladder and urethra. It is a tissue builder.

Saw palmetto is another wonderful instance of scientific research validating traditional herbal medicine. Saw palmetto frequently equals and sometimes exceeds pharmaceuticals for treating benign prostate hypertrophy( BPH). More than a dozen clinical studies involving almost 3,000 men have verified saw palmetto’s ability to markedly alleviate BPH symptoms- without the libido reducing side effects of the pharmaceutical drug. The herb helps more men than synthetic drugs, and it gets the job done faster. As an added benefit, saw palmetto inhibites enzymes that are suspected to cause male pattern baldness, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence indicates that saw palmetto stems hair loss and triggers growth. Although it has lost the favor of mainstream medicine in the U.S., it is still widely used in Europe.

saw palmetto  extract has been promoted as useful for people with prostate cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific studies do not support claims that saw palmetto can prevent or treat prostate cancer in humans”

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenoa
http://www.driscollsnatural.com/herb_detail.php?herb=255
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sawpal26.html

Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder)

Definition:
Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling) is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body. Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which people with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise.

It is classified as an impulse control disorder by DSM-IV, is the compulsive urge to pull out one’s own hair leading to noticeable hair loss, distress, and social or functional impairment. It is often chronic and difficult to treat.

CLICK TO SEE PICTURES

Trichotillomania may be present in infants, but the peak age of onset is 9 to 13. It may be triggered by depression or stress. Due to social implications the disorder is often unreported and it is difficult to accurately predict its prevalence; the lifetime prevalence is estimated to be between 0.6% (overall) and may be as high as 1.5% (in males) to 3.4% (in females).

For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the urge to pull hair is overwhelming and can be accompanied by considerable distress. Some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely.

The name, coined by French dermatologist François Henri Hallopeau, derives from the Greek: trich- (hair), till(en) (to pull), and mania (“an abnormal love for a specific object, place, or action”).

Classification:
Trichotillomania is defined as a self-induced and recurrent loss of hair. It is classified in DSM-IV as an impulse control disorder with pyromania, pathological gambling and kleptomania, and includes the criterion of an increasing sense of tension before pulling the hair and gratification or relief when pulling the hair. However, some people with trichotillomania do not endorse the inclusion of “rising tension and subsequent pleasure, gratification, or relief” as part of the criteria;   because many individuals with trichotillomania may not realize they are pulling their hair, patients presenting for diagnosis may deny the criteria for tension prior to hair pulling or a sense of gratification after hair is pulled.

Trichotillomania has been hypothesized to lie on the obsessive–compulsive spectrum, which is proposed to encompass obsessive–compulsive disorder, nail biting (onychophagia) and skin picking (dermatillomania), tic disorders and eating disorders. These conditions may share clinical features, genetic contributions, and possibly treatment response; however, differences between trichotillomania and OCD are present in symptoms, neural function and cognitive profile. In the sense that it is associated with irresistible urges to perform unwanted repetitive behavior, trichotillomania is akin to some of these conditions, and rates of trichotillomania among relatives of OCD patients is higher than expected by chance. However, differences between the disorder and OCD have been noted including differing peak ages at onset, rates of comorbidity, gender differences, and neural dysfunction and cognitive profile. When it occurs in early childhood, it can be regarded as a distinct clinical entity.

Because trichotillomania can present in multiple age groups, it is helpful in terms of prognosis and treatment to approach three distinct subgroups by age: preschool age children, preadolescents to young adults, and adults.

Trichotillomania is often not a focused act, but rather hair pulling occurs in a “trance-like” state; hence, trichotillomania is subdivided into “automatic” versus “focused” hair pulling. Children are more often in the automatic, or subconscious, subtype and may not consciously remember pulling their hair. Other individuals may have focused, or conscious, rituals associated with hair pulling, including seeking specific types of hairs to pull, pulling until the hair feels “just right”, or pulling in response to a specific sensation. Knowledge of the subtype is helpful in determining treatment strategies

Symptoms:
Trichotillomania is usually confined to one or two sites, but can involve multiple sites. The scalp is the most common pulling site, followed by the eyebrows, eyelashes, face, arms, legs, and pubic hairs. The classic presentation is the “Friar Tuck” form of vertex and crown alopecia. Children are less likely to pull from areas other than the scalp.

Individuals with trichotillomania exhibit hair of differing lengths; some are broken hairs with blunt ends, some new growth with tapered ends, some broken mid-shaft, or some uneven stubble. Scaling on the scalp is not present, overall hair density is normal, and a hair pull test is negative (the hair does not pull out easily). Hair is often pulled out leaving an unusual shape; individuals with trichotillomania may be secretive or shameful of the hair pulling behavior.

An additional psychological effect can be low self-esteem, often associated with being shunned by peers and the fear of socializing due to appearance and negative attention they may receive. Some people with TTM wear hats, wigs, wear false eyelashes, eyebrow pencil, or style their hair in an effort to avoid such attention. There seems to be a strong stress-related component. In low-stress environments, some exhibit no symptoms (known as “pulling”) whatsoever. This “pulling” often resumes upon leaving this environment. Some individuals with TTM may feel they are the only person with this problem due to low rates of reporting.

Other medical complications include infection, permanent loss of hair, repetitive stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, and gastrointestinal obstruction as a result of trichophagia. In trichophagia, people with trichotillomania also ingest the hair that they pull; in extreme (and rare) cases this can lead to a hair ball (trichobezoar). Rapunzel syndrome, an extreme form of trichobezoar in which the “tail” of the hair ball extends into the intestines, can be fatal if misdiagnosed.

Environment is a large factor which affects hair pulling. Sedentary activities such as being in a relaxed environment are conducive to hair pulling. A common example of a sedentary activity promoting hair pulling is lying in a bed while trying to rest or fall asleep. An extreme example of automatic TTM is found when some patients have been observed to pull their hair out while asleep. This is called sleep-isolated trichotillomania.

Signs and symptoms of trichotillomania often include:

*Repeatedly pulling your hair out, typically from your scalp, eyebrows or eyelashes, but it can be from other body areas as well
*A strong urge to pull hair, followed by feelings of relief after the hair is pulled
*Patchy bald areas on the scalp or other areas of your body
*Sparse or missing eyelashes or eyebrows
*Chewing or eating pulled-out hair
*Playing with pulled-out hair
*Rubbing pulled-out hair across your lips or face

Causes:-
The cause of trichotillomania isn’t known. Most experts believe it’s a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but there may be a hereditary element. Some blame environmental pollution, streptococcal infections, or even deficiencies of brain or body chemicals and nutrients.

The answer probably lies somewhere between pleasant habit and a reaction to stress, at least in terms of the initial trigger. People often start by pulling out damaged hairs to relieve an itch or a follicle, but as the habit progresses they may lose any reason for it.

Risk Factors:
These factors tend to be associated with trichotillomania:

*Family history. Susceptibility to trichotillomania may be inherited.

*Age. Trichotillomania usually develops during adolescence — most often between the ages of 11 and 13 — and is often a lifelong problem. Children younger than age 5 also can be prone to hair pulling, but this is usually mild and goes away on its own without treatment.

*Sex. Although far more women than men are treated for trichotillomania, this may be because women are more likely to seek medical advice. In early childhood, boys and girls appear to be equally affected.

*Negative emotions. For many people with trichotillomania, hair pulling is a way of dealing with negative or uncomfortable feelings, such as stress, anxiety, tension, loneliness, fatigue or frustration.

*Positive reinforcement. People with trichotillomania often find that pulling out hair feels satisfying and provides a measure of relief. As a result, they continue to pull their hair to maintain these positive feelings.

*Other disorders. People who have trichotillomania may also have other disorders, including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or eating disorders. Nail biting and skin picking have also been associated with trichotillomania.

 

Diagnosis:
Patients may be ashamed or actively attempt to disguise their symptoms. This can make diagnosis difficult as symptoms are not always immediately obvious, or have been deliberately hidden to avoid disclosure. If the patient admits to hair pulling, diagnosis is not difficult; if patients deny hair pulling, a differential diagnosis must be pursued. The differential diagnosis will include evaluation for alopecia areata, tinea capitis, traction alopecia, and loose anagen syndrome. In trichotillomania, a hair pull test is negative.

A biopsy can be performed and may be helpful; it reveals traumatized hair follicles with perifollicular hemorrhage, fragmented hair in the dermis, empty follicles, and deformed hair shafts (trichomalacia). Multiple catagen hairs are typically seen. An alternative technique to biopsy, particularly for children, is to shave a part of the involved area and observe for regrowth of normal hairs.

Treatment:
Treatment is based on a person’s age. Most pre-school age children outgrow it if the condition is managed conservatively. In young adults, establishing the diagnosis and raising awareness of the condition is an important reassurance for the family and patient. Non-pharmacological interventions, including behavior modification programs, may be considered; referrals to psychologists or psychiatrists are considered when other interventions fail. When trichotillomania begins in adulthood, it is often associated with other psychiatric disorders, and referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist for evaluation or treatment is considered best. The hair pulling may resolve when other conditions are treated.

Psychosocial:
Habit Reversal Training (HRT) has the highest rate of success in treating trichotillomania. HRT has been shown to be a successful adjunct to medication as a way to treat TTM. With HRT, doctors train the individual to learn to recognize their impulse to pull and also teach them to redirect this impulse. In comparisons of behavioral versus pharmacologic treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (including HRT) have shown significant improvement over medication alone. It has also proven effective in treating children. Biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral methods, and hypnosis may improve symptoms.

Medication:
Medications can be used. Treatment with clomipramine (Anafranil), a tricyclic antidepressant, was shown in a small double-blind study to significantly improve symptoms, but results of other studies on clomipramine for treating trichotillomania have been inconsistent. Fluoxetine (Prozac) and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have limited usefulness in treating TTM, and can often have significant side effects. Behavioral therapy has proven more effective when compared to fluoxetine or control groups. Dual treatment (behavioral therapy and medication) may provide an advantage in some cases, but robust evidence from high-quality studies is lacking.[1] Acetylcysteine treatment stemmed from an understanding of glutamate’s roll in regulation of impulse control

Prognosis:
When it occurs in early childhood (before five years of age), the condition is typically self-limiting and intervention is not required. In adults, the onset of trichotillomania may be secondary to underlying psychiatric disturbances and symptoms are generally more long-term.

Secondary infections may occur due to picking and scratching, but other complications are rare. Individuals with trichotillomania often find that support groups are helpful in living with and overcoming the disorder.

Epidemiology:
Although no broad-based population epidemiologic studies had been conducted as of 2009, the lifetime prevalence of trichotillomania is estimated to be between 0.6% (overall) and as high as 1.5% (in males) to 3.4% (in females). With a 1% prevalence rate, 2.5 million people in the U.S. may have TTM at some time during their lifetimes.

TTM is diagnosed in all age groups; onset is more common during preadolescence and young adulthood, with mean age of onset between 9 and 13 years of age, and a notable peak at 12–13. Among preschool children the genders are equally represented; there appears to be a female predominance among preadolescents to young adults, with between 70% and 93% of patients being female. Among adults, females typically outnumber males by 3 to 1.

“Automatic” pulling occurs in approximately three-quarters of adult patients with trichotillomania

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

 

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/hairpull.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichotillomania
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trichotillomania/DS00895

http://www.wattzinternational.com/testimony_j.htm

http://www.noellesalon.com/hair-salon-boston.php?tag=trichotillomania&page=2

Hair Loss in Women

Introduction:
One of the commonest forms of hair loss in women (and men) is a condition called telogen effluvium, in which there is a diffuse (or widely spread out) shedding of hairs around the scalp and elsewhere on the body.

click & see

This is usually a reaction to intense stress on the body’s physical or hormonal systems, or as a reaction to medication.

The condition, which can occur at any age, generally begins fairly suddenly and gets better on its own within about six months, although for a few people it can become a chronic problem.

Because telogen effluvium develops a while after its trigger, and causes generalised thinning of hair density rather than a bald patch, women with the condition can easily be diagnosed as overanxious or neurotic.

Fortunately, it often gets better with time. Telogen effluvium is a phenomenon related to the growth cycles of hair.

Hair growth cycles alternate between a growth phase (called anagen, it lasts about three years) and a resting phase (telogen, which lasts about three months). During telogen, the hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by the growth of a new hair in the anagen phase.

At any one time, up to about 15 per cent of hairs are in telogen. But a sudden stress on the body can trigger large numbers of hairs to enter the telogen phase at the same time. Then, about three months later, this large number of hairs will be shed. As the new hairs start to grow out, so the density of hair may thicken again.

Many adults have had an episode of telogen effluvium at some point in their lives, reflecting episodes of illness or stress.

Another common type of hair loss in women is androgenetic alopecia, which is related to hormone levels in the body. There’s a large genetic predisposition, which may be inherited from the father or mother.

Androgenetic alopecia affects roughly 50 per cent of men (this is the main cause of the usual pattern of balding seen as men age) and perhaps as many women over the age of 40.

Research shows that up to 13 per cent of women have some degree of this sort of hair loss before the menopause, and afterwards it becomes far more common – one piece of research suggests that over the age of 65 as many as 75 per cent of women are affected.

The cause of hair loss in androgentic alopecia is a chemical called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is made from androgens (male hormones that all men and women produce) by the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.

People with a lot of this enzyme make more DHT, which in excess can cause the hair follicles to make thinner and thinner hair, until eventually they pack up completely.

Women’s pattern of hair loss is different to the typical receding hairline and crown loss in men. Instead, androgenetic alopecia causes a general thinning of women’s hair, with loss predominantly over the top and sides of the head.

Another important cause of hair loss in women is a condition called alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that affects more than two per cent of the population. In this, the hair follicles are attacked by white blood cells. The follicles then become very small and hair production slows down dramatically, so there may be no visible hair growth for months and years.

After some time, hair may regrow as before, come back in patchy areas, or not regrow at all. The good news is that in every case the hair follicles remain alive and can be switched on again; the bad news is that we don’t yet know how to do this.

TOP MYTHS ABOUT FEMALE HAIR LOSS:-
•It means you’re not a proper women with two X chromosomes.
•It’s caused by washing your hair too often.
•It’s caused by too much brushing or combing.
•Hair dyes and perms can cause permanent loss.
•It may result from wearing hats and wigs.
•Shaving your hair will make it regrow thicker.
•Standing on your head will help it grow back.
•It’s a sign of an overactive brain.
•There’s a miracle cure out there waiting for you.
•Scan the internet and you’ll see all sorts of miracle cures for baldness on offer, from strange herbal lotions to mechanical devices. Perhaps the most useful first step you can take is to avoid the myths.
.
After this there are several options. You can find some way to accept the change and live with it (let’s face it, this is a tall order – most men struggle to come to terms with their baldness and for them at least society equates it with maturity and power).

You can try cosmetic treatments such as wigs or hair thickeners, or you can try medical therapies. The last option is hair-replacement surgery.

The drug minoxidil was first developed for treating high blood pressure, which was found to have the side effect of thickening hair growth in some people. It’s now available as a lotion to apply directly to the scalp.

No one really knows how it works, however, and it’s not effective for everyone. Studies show that only about 20 per cent of women between 18 and 45 have moderate regrowth using the drug, while another 40 per cent experience minimal regrowth.

It works best on younger people with early hair loss. A big disadvantage is that you have to carry on using minoxidil indefinitely or the new hair will fall out.

Another drug, finasteride, which was developed for treating prostate cancer, has also been found to be effective but is only available for men.

Surgical techniques for restoring hair have improved greatly in the past couple of decades, but this is still an option that requires careful consideration.

There are two main options:
•Hair transplantation – tiny punch-holes of skin containing a few follicles of hair are taken from elsewhere in the body (such as the back of the head, if this is still well covered) and implanted into the thinning areas. Some surgeons use a needle to sew in just one or two hairs. However, as women are more likely to have diffuse loss of hair all over the scalp, this technique may not be possible. There has been little success with implanting artificial fibres.
•Scalp reduction – devices are inserted under the skin to stretch areas of scalp that still have hair, then the redundant bald areas are removed. Alternatively, flaps of hairy scalp can be moved around the head.
Key points
•Many causes of female hair loss are temporary – check your general health and be patient.
•Take a look at your family for an idea of your risk of female pattern baldness.
•Don’t be taken in by claims for wonder products – there’s no cure for female pattern hair loss.
•Many women cope well by using cosmetic products, hats and wigs, so persevere until you find your own style.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/hair_loss_women.shtml

http://www.prevention.com/health/beauty/unsure/hair-loss-in-women/article/1aebd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____/

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hair Loss in Men

Definition:
Each hair grows in cycles?it grows, rests, and then falls out. Usually, this cycle repeats approximately yearly. At any time, about ninety percent of a person’s scalp hair is growing, a phase that lasts between two and six years. Ten percent of the scalp hair is in a resting phase that lasts between two and three months. At the end of its resting stage, the hair goes through a shedding phase.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Shedding 50 to 100 hairs a day is considered normal. When a hair is shed, it is replaced by a new hair from the same follicle located just beneath the skin surface. Scalp hair grows about one-half inch a month.

Hair is made up of a form of protein, the same material that is found in fingernails and toenails. Everyone, regardless of age, should eat an adequate amount of protein to maintain normal hair production. Protein is found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, some cheese, dried beans, tofu, grains, and nuts.

Male pattern baldness occurs in a distinct way (and sometimes can affect women too). Hair may start Hair may start to disappear from the temples and the crown of the head at any time. For a few men this process starts as early as the later teenage years, but for most it happens in their late 20s and early 30s. A little thinning of the hair may be noticeable first, followed by wider hair loss allowing more of the scalp to become visible.

Some men aren’t troubled by this process at all. Others, however, suffer great emotional distress associated with a lack of self-confidence and sometimes depression.

Abnormal hair loss can be due to many different causes, but about 50 percent of the population experience normal hair loss by the time they reach 50. People who notice their hair shedding in large amounts after combing or brushing, or whose hair becomes thinner or falls out should consult a dermatologist.

Causes:
By far the most common cause of hair loss in men is androgenetic alopecia, also referred to as “male pattern” or “common” baldness. It is caused by the effects of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on genetically susceptible scalp hair follicles. This sensitivity to DHT is present mainly in hair follicles that reside in the front, top, and crown of the scalp (rather than the back and sides) producing a characteristic and easily identifiable pattern described by Norwood (see Norwood Classification).

It is frequently stated that “hair loss comes from the mother’s side of the family.” The truth is that baldness can be inherited from either parent. However, recent research suggests that the reasons for hair loss and balding may be a bit more complex than originally thought. Factors on the x-chromosome have been shown to influence hair loss, making the inheritance from the maternal side of the family slightly more important than the paternal one (Markus Nothen, 2005).

The identification of an androgen receptor gene (AR) on the x-chromosome helps to explain why the hair loss pattern of a man resembles his maternal grandfather more often than his father. However, this is clearly not the whole story since a direct inheritance of baldness from the father is observed as well. An autosomal (non-sex) linked gene would explain this type of transmission – but this gene has not yet been found.

DHT is formed by the action of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase on testosterone, the hormone that causes sex characteristics in men. DHT causes male hair loss by shortening the growth, or anagen, phase of the hair cycle, causing miniaturization (decreased size) of the follicles, and producing progressively shorter, finer hairs. Eventually these hairs totally disappear.

In the patient below, we see a close-up of the side of his scalp where the hair is not affected by DHT. We see mostly groups of full thickness hairs (called terminal hairs) and a few scattered fine, vellus hairs. This is normal.
In the area of thinning (see circle below), we see that most of the hair has been miniaturized, although all of the hair is still present.

In the region that is balding (second circle in the center), there is extensive miniaturization and some, but not all of the hair has disappeared.

What this shows is that the initial appearance of balding is due to the progressive decrease in hair shaft size, rather than the actual loss of hair – in early hair loss, all the hair is still present. This is the reason why hair loss medications, such as finasteride (Propecia) work in early hair loss (since they are able to partly reverse the miniaturization process) but don’t work in areas that are totally bald. It is also the reason why men’s hair restoration surgery, if not planned properly, can result in hair loss due to the shedding of surrounding miniaturized hair.
Androgenetic hair loss is caused by three interdependent factors: genes, hormones, and age:

Other causes of hair loss, which may not follow this pattern, include:

•Iron-deficiency anaemia
•Under active thyroid
•Fungal scalp infection
•Some prescribed medicines
•Stress

Other medical conditions that can produce diffuse hair loss in men include thyroid disease . Certain medications, including some drugs used for high blood pressure and depression, and the use of anabolic steroids, can also cause male hair loss.

How the problem can be solved:
If there’s a reversible cause, it’s normally possible to stop hair loss. For instance, if it’s caused by iron deficiency you can stop hair loss by replenishing the body’s iron stores.

A huge number of treatments have been tried to slow down and even reverse the process of male pattern hair loss – some are successful, others aren’t. But many men find their hair loss slows down or stops for no apparent reason at a certain age anyway.

It’s a good idea to ensure an illness isn’t responsible, particularly if the hair loss is patchy rather than being in the typical male pattern distribution. Moreover, if the hair loss is accompanied by other symptoms (such as tiredness) then blood tests may be necessary.

Treatments
•Wigs, weaves and hair transplants are, obviously, the most direct form of treatment, while some advocate shaving or close cutting which simply makes the hair loss less obvious. Different hairstyles can create the appearance of a fuller head of hair, or a close shave cut can make baldness less apparent.
•Herbal preparations that contain zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamin E and other substances in various combinations can help.
•Minoxidil is a lotion available from the pharmacist that you rub on to the scalp. It slows down the process of hair loss and can cause new hair growth but you have to keep on using it or it will stop being effective.
•Finasteride (Propecia) is the latest drug treatment. It comes in tablet form and works by slowing down hair loss; it’s also reported to cause new hair growth. In the UK it’s only available on private prescription from your GP and is only effective while you take it.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/hair_loss_male.shtml

Causes


http://beatpsoriasis.com/baldness-definition.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta