Category Archives: Getting a Formal Diagnosis

Losing hair can be a distressing experience, whether it is gradual or relatively sudden. Unfortunately, there are many unverified miracle cures out there, so it can be hard to know where to turn. The important thing is to turn to your GP first of all.

We all lose hair, but if you notice that you are losing more than you would ordinarily expect, it is perhaps time to speak to your GP. They will investigate and diagnose and will hopefully be able to identify the cause, at which point you can consider what your next step should be.

Quite often, your GP will refer you to a dermatologist. While dermatology is primarily concerned with the skin, this branch of medicine does include hair, because the hair follicles reside in the skin. It is also possible to contact a consultant dermatologist directly without referral from your GP.

By speaking with an NHS consultant dermatologist, you can be sure that you are getting the best and impartial advice. NHS practitioners are governed by the General Medical Council and are therefore duty-bound to act in your best interests.

As with any medical condition, it is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis for hair loss before you can start any treatment. This is especially important with hair loss related conditions as the symptoms are often remarkably similar and the defining characteristics of a particular condition can be hard to spot.

For example, a child displaying symptoms of hair loss could have one of a number of different conditions. Alopecia areata is patchy hair loss where the skin remaining is perfectly smooth and without lesions, whereas Tinea Capitis (ringworm of the scalp) will cause bald patches where the skin may display scaling.

Both of these conditions cause hair loss, but the treatment for each is very different. There is no definitive cure for alopecia areata – although the hair is likely to grow back within a year or so if the patient is a child – whereas Tinea Capitis requires anti-fungal medicine to be ingested for effective treatment.

In adults, the causes and treatments for each type of hair loss can also be very different, so it is important to consult a GP for a proper diagnosis. Only then can you seek help from a hair loss treatment specialist for your particular condition.

There are various Hair Loss Forums on the internet that tend to cover a broad range of subjects relating to hair loss.  People comment on various treatments within these forums and some of these comments can be helpful although finding a solution to help manage your hair loss is a very personal decision that can only be made by you!

It is good for women to talk to each other about their hair problems as you can get some good advice but what works for one person may not work for you so if you are seeking ethical advice about your hair loss then you should visit your GP, Dermatologist or Registered Consultant Trichologist.  Getting a formal diagnosis for your hair loss is a positive step forward as you will then know if it is something you have to manage either in the short term or in the long term.  They will also advise you on what your treatment options are.

Hair Loss Forums can be a good way of finding a support mechanism from other hair loss sufferers but professional advice can only come from those that are qualified – your GP, Dermatologist or Registered Consultant Trichologist.