Ask a dermatologist: Dr. Panos Vasiloudes talks about hair loss

Monday, February 04, 2019

Ask a dermatologist: Dr. Panos Vasiloudes talks about hair loss
Dr. Panos Vasiloudes, a medical doctor board certified in dermatology and pediatrics, founder of ten Tampa-based dermatology clinics, and now Harklinikken’s Medical Director sat down to answer many of the questions he hears each day in his dermatology practice.

 

What inspired you to join Harklinikken?

Every day, I’d have patients come in to discuss their hair loss. Many of the common treatments were ineffective for their cases, and I had been following the research and emerging science for years. I was always on the lookout for effective hair loss treatment as I could not offer anything of significant and persistent value to my patients. This led me to Lars. I was introduced to Lars by a former colleague during a visit in Denmark, and upon witnessing first-hand the impressive results delivered to clients in Copenhagen, I invited Lars to visit us in Tampa in June 2008. Other factors made my decision clear: I was intrigued by the integrity and competence of the whole team in Copenhagen. The clean, organized and structured approach with the focus been always the client and their results was very obvious. I have continued my research, personally attending meetings in Europe, the Middle East and the USA to seek out experts in hair loss and their results. Most notably in several presentations at the American Academy of Dermatology meetings, I visited key note presentations and plenary lectures on hair loss. The best results ever presented in these meetings were well below of what I have seen from Harklinikken patients. All this convinced me that the Harklinikken approach was genuine and superior to any other one ever presented in my peer attended meetings.

 

What brings your patients to the dermatologist?

Hair loss is a regular concern from patients of all ages, male and female. Regardless of age or condition, they ask:
  • What’s causing my hair loss?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • Is my hair loss reversible?

 

What’s causing my hair loss?

There are many possible causes, and each case is different. In our practice, the vast majority present with either telogen effluvium (TE), hair thinning all over the scalp, or androgenetic alopecia, hereditary hair loss, most often at the hair line or cranium. We even see patients between the ages of 15 and 20 who are beginning to experience pattern hair loss. Hair loss can be classified in several ways: 1) Distribution and location: localized, generalized, diffuse. For example, a localized infection can destroy part of the hair follicles in one area (ringworm), a birthmark can affect the growth of hair in a specific pattern (Nevus Sebaceous, a congenital birthmark/mole), or an autoimmune process can destroyed areas in a round or oval fashion in one or multiple areas (Alopecia Areata). 2) Pattern: Female or male pattern androgenetic hair loss. This is the most common type that we treat. In this type we can recognize patterns over multiple generations and begin to predict the hair loss. This hair loss is mostly influenced by androgen hormones, their circulating levels in the blood and the distribution of their receptors, and their activation timeline or responsiveness on the scalp. 3) The relationship to internal disease or the lack of is a completely separate identifiable condition. In such cases, the hair loss is a secondary sign or symptom of a condition that affects internal organ systems. The most common example of hair thinning being related to an internal disease is thyroid dysfunction. Both under functioning and over functioning of the thyroid gland can cause hair loss and severely impact the quantity and quality of the hair. 4) Iatrogenic or medically induced: These are seen in almost all chemotherapy patients treated for different types of neoplastic disease, cancer, or malignancies. Medicines affecting the growth of different tumors will impact the growth of hair, as hair has a very rapid regeneration cycle. Hair, nails and the bowel regenerate the fastest; therefore, in cancer treatment patients, hair loss, nail changes and diarrhea are very common. Women usually consult their dermatologist earlier than men, but everyone should in order to rule out any underlying illnesses. Just as a fever could be a symptom of an ear infection or pneumonia, hair loss is sometimes a symptom of various diseases that must be ruled out. These are not limited to, but sometimes include an acute hormonal imbalance, connective tissue disease, infection, thyroid issues, or a nutritional deficiency.

 

What are my treatment options?

In some cases in which the hair loss is a side effect of medication, it can be easily reversed. Many other causes are often self-correcting with time. Chemotherapy and childbirth can cause hair loss, but in most cases, as the body heals, hair growth will resume. In the case of nutritional deficiency, extreme exercise, stress or other physiological factors, we often advise patients to make some lifestyle changes while treating their hair loss. Medications like minoxidil are helpful for some, but a great many of our patients have already tried this with limited or no results. The effectiveness of Harklinikken treatments is what drew me to this clinic after years of seeking alternatives.

 

Is my hair loss reversible?

It depends on many factors. First, is there scarring? Scarring, or firmness and tightness around the hair follicle, if significant, can make it quite unlikely that treatment will be fully effective. There are many causes of scarring, including infections that weren’t treated in time, types of hair products used, and grooming practices like extensions, and burning and pulling the hair with straighteners. Traction alopecia is primarily caused by extensive braiding and pulling. At Harklinikken, we have had success treating clients with some scarring; in most cases it was caused by reduced blood flow combined with androgenetic alopecia. In some cases, we’ve seen 30-40% more hair regrowth. The other significant factor in determining whether the condition is treatable is how long the hair loss has been occurring. The earlier the patient seeks treatment, the more likely their hair loss is reversible. To learn more about the causes and treatments for hair loss, download our e-book.