Diseases That Cause Hair Loss

Today, one of the most common problems that could degrade one’s beauty is hair loss. Most individuals usually shed 50 to 100 hairs every day. This loss, usually does not cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair, as new hair simultaneously grows along. Hair loss occurs when this cycle of growth of hair and shedding of hair is disrupted or when the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. There are a lot of causes of hair loss. Usually hair loss could be heredity or because of family history, can be due to hormonal changes, because of certain medications and also because of some medical conditions or diseases. Several conditions or diseases leads to hair loss. If you are one of those who suffer from loss of hair then you would probably love to read this article which explains about the diseases that cause hair loss.

Diseases That Cause Hair Loss

Diseases That Cause Hair Loss

  1. Hair Pulling Disorder:

    One of the diseases that cause hair loss is, hair pulling disorder. Hair pulling disorder is a condition that is also known as Trichotillomania,where the affected individuals have an irresistible urge for pulling out their hair, whether it is from the scalp or from the eyebrows and other parts of the body.

  2. Alopecia Areata:

    One more disease that causes hair loss is alopecia where there is a patchy hair loss. This type of nonscarring hair loss occurs when the immune system of the body attacks hair follicles, leading to sudden hair loss that leaves smooth, rounding bald patches on the scalp of the skin.

  3. Scalp Infections:

    Infections or diseases of scalp such as ringworm, can invade the hair and the skin of the scalp and can cause scaly patches and hair loss. Once infections are treated appropriately, hair usually grows back.

  4. Some Skin Disorders:

    Some of the skin disorders like lupus and sarcoidosis can cause hair loss. In case of lupus, the hair tends to get brittle and may fall out in patches. Lupus hairs or short, broken hairs usually appear above the forehead. Hair loss is not permanent in general here. Some individuals with lupus also develop a form of lupus known as discoid or cutaneous lupus that affects the skin. Scars that sometimes develop on the skin of the scalp may lead to hair loss.

  5. Thyroid Problems Can Cause Hair Loss:

    Thyroid problems can also cause hair loss. Such problems are a common cause of scattered hair loss. Both, hyperthyroidism as well as hypothyroidism can lead to hair loss. Hair loss that is associated with thyroid disease can be reversed with appropriate treatment.

  6. Male Pattern Baldness:

    One more disease that causes hair loss is male pattern baldness. About two out of three men, experience hair loss by their age of 60 and most of the time, the hair loss is because of male pattern baldness. Such type of hair loss, caused by a combo of genes and male sex hormones, usually follow a classic pattern where the hair recedes at the temples, thus leaving an M-shaped hairline.

    In such a case you can try using topical creams like Rogaine and oral medications like Propecia, that can halt hair loss and also sometimes cause hair to grow. Even surgery or graft hair could be an option.

  7. Anemia:

    Anemia is one more cause of hair loss. Almost 1 in 10 women, aged, in between 20 to 49 suffer from anemia, because of an iron deficiency or the most common type of anemia, which causes hair loss. Your doctor would do a blood test for determining if you have this type of anemia. Taking a simple iron supplement would help you correct this problem.

  8. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

    PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome is an imbalance in male and female sex hormones. An excess of androgens can cause ovarian cysts, higher risk of diabetes, weight gain, changes in menstrual period infertility and also hair thinning. Because male hormones are over-represented in polycystic ovary syndrome, women may also experience more hair on their body and face.

    It is essential for you to treat the condition and this can be done by appropriate diet, exercise and potentially birth control pills, and also some other specific treatments to address infertility or diabetes risk.

  9. Emotional and Physical Stress Causes Hair Loss:

    Emotional stress can also cause hair loss. However, it is less likely to cause hair loss than physical stress. Emotional stress such as during the death of a loved one, or after a divorce etc, can lead to hair loss. However, more often, though, emotional stress won’t actually precipitate the hair loss, it will exacerbate a pre-existing problem. In such a case you need to know the cause of your stress and reduce the stress.

    Physical stress can also be a cause for hair loss. Any kind of physical trauma surgery, a severe illness, an accident, even the flu can lead to temporary hair loss. This can trigger a type of hair loss known as Telogen effluvium. Hair loss usually gets noticeable 3-6 months after the trauma but once your body recovers, your hair would start growing back again.

  10. Other Disease/Medical Conditions Leading to Hair Loss:

    • Disease like cancer, such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, can cause hair loss, thinning or breakage.
    • Myotonic dystrophy or an adult form of muscular dystrophy can also lead to hair loss.
    • Diseases of pituitary glands can also cause hair loss.
    • Hair loss can also occur because of heavy metal poisoning such as arseninc or thallinium poisoning.
    • Late stage syphilis can cause hair loss
    • HIV infection can also lead to hair loss
    • Any severe ongoing or chronic illness can also cause hair loss

    Apart from all above medical conditions and diseases, hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy, childbirth or during the onset of menopause can also cause hair loss.


Now that we are aware of the diseases that cause hair loss, it is very much obvious that you need to be very much attentive about taking care of your hair properly, talk to your doctor about the hair loss because of the illness you are suffering from and take effective treatments as per his or her advice.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 9, 2018

Recent Posts

Related Posts