Ask the doctors: Women’s hair loss from the OB/GYN perspective

By Patti Dalessio, on Jan 18, 2016

Ask the doctors: Women’s hair loss from the OB/GYN perspective
While we receive many questions and referrals from dermatologists each day, there is more and more concern over women’s hair loss from a surprising source: the OB/GYNs. These doctors are a key part of women’s health care, and often the doctor they see most regularly. They also talk regularly with their patients about many of the causes of hair loss:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Childbirth
  • Diet and exercise
  • Genetics

OB/GYNs are seeking to learn more about the diagnosis, causes, and treatment of women’s hair loss, in articles like Hair Loss in Women from the Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology journal. For some women, their OB/GYN is the first health professional they consult about their hair loss. Knowing this, obstetricians and gynecologists are looking to learn more about women’s hair loss in order to better provide patients with confident answers and treatment options.

Of particular concern to OB/GYNs:

  • The importance of excluding polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Approximately 20% of those with PCOS will have androgenetic alopecia.
  • The ability to distinguish between normal hair loss that happens with age and pathological hair loss.
  • Diets resulting in nutritional deficiencies that impact hair health. Women commonly lack one or more key nutrients – protein, vitamin C, vitamin B, zinc, niacin, and iron.
  • The types of products and treatments that can be most beneficial to women experiencing hair loss. Understanding proper hair care techniques can also be beneficial to identifying if patients simply need to adjust their daily routines.

OB/GYNs may not be able to provide an examination as fully detailed as other physicians, but basic knowledge of hair loss causes can help patients determine the proper next steps. However, we often warn against suggested in-office tests. Many medical journals recognize pull tests or tug tests, but these are not necessarily accurate ways to discern hair loss. Harklinikken understands that every individual’s situation is unique, which is why we take a customized approach to our treatments.

Just as we work with dermatologists in the US and abroad to assess and treat those with hair loss, we are happy to provide hair loss education, assessment, and support to any doctor or women seeking answers to hair loss issues.

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