Asking Your Doctor About Hair Loss
There are many good reasons for talking to your doctor about hair loss, but often it's something that people feel awkward about. You may prefer not to have to think about what's happening, you may feel embarrassed, or you may not want to bother them when other people have more serious problems. But there are many good reasons why talking to your doctor is a good idea, and preparing for it properly can help you get the most out of your appointment.
Why Ask Your Doctor?Having healthy hair is a good indicator of general health, so the condition of your hair is relevant to your doctor's assessment of your overall wellbeing. Most doctors prefer to know when anything troubles their patients, even if it's minor, because it often enables them to prevent problems rather than having to treat them later when things are more complicated. There are several reasons why you should tell your doctor about hair loss:
- Your hair loss may be a symptom of illness. Often hair loss indicates a minor infection which is easily treated. Occasionally, it can be a symptom of a more serious problem like Diabetes or Lupus.
- Your hair loss may be easily preventable. Some conditions that cause hair loss respond very well to treatment; getting a clear diagnosis means you can do the right thing right away.
- Coping alone may lead to stress-based illness. If your hair loss is distressing you, that's not a minor problem. Your doctor will want to make sure it doesn't lead to Depression.
- You may need to change medication. Some Medication Can Cause Hair Loss and your doctor may be able to recommend an alternative, but you should never stop taking medication without advice.
How Your Doctor Can HelpAlthough there are many off-the-shelf remedies for hair loss, it's always a good idea to ask your doctor's advice before taking them. This is because if you don't have the type of hair loss the treatment is targeted at, it won't help you. It's also because some common treatments can have nasty side effects for particular types of user.
If your doctor cannot provide a firm diagnosis, or if they suspect that your hair loss is caused by a skin condition, they can refer you to a specialist. This means you will get the right kind of help as quickly as possible.
Some types of hair loss problem are most effectively treated with types of medication only available on prescription. Your doctor will help you to work out what's right for you, and will make sure that your hair loss treatment is safe to take with any other medication you may be using.
If you decide that you want to conceal your hair loss using a Hair Piece Or A Wig, your doctor can advise you on where to get started. You may be eligible to get help with choosing and purchasing a wig directly from the NHS.
Preparing for an AppointmentMany people find that when they go to see their doctors about complex problems they forget much of what they were going to say. It's a good idea to write down some notes to make sure your discussion covers everything that's important to you. If you're worried that you'll get nervous, ask a friend to accompany you.
To understand what's happening to your hair, your doctor will need to know how long your hair loss has been going on and whether or not anything changed in your life around the time when it started – for instance, you may have travelled abroad, had an operation, started a new kind of diet or changed your hair care products. Make a note of anything that seems important. From the time when you make your appointment, keep a diary of any changes in your hair.
Talking to your doctor about your hair loss may seem like a big step to take, but you will be taken seriously, and it could be the first step toward dealing with what may seem like an impossible problem.