Cytomegalovirus infection of hair follicles has been implicated by at least one research group in development of Alopecia Areata (Skinner 1995). However, research by other groups has failed to confirm the potential link (Garcia-Hernandez 1998, Tosti 1996). HIV infection has also been suggested as a potential trigger for Alopecia Areata onset (Piras 1997, Grossman 1996, Cho 1995, Stewart 1993). Other trichologists suggest general viral/bacterial infections may promote the immune system into an inappropriate response against hair follicles in susceptible people.
Androgenic Alopecia - Androgenetic
Androgenetic alopecia In men, or male pattern baldness, is recognized increasingly as a physically and psychologically harmful medical condition. Androgenetic alopecia affects at least half of white men by the age of 50 years. Although androgenetic alopecia does not appear to cause direct physical harm, hair loss can result in physical harm because hair protects against sunburn, cold, mechanical injury, and ultraviolet light. Hair loss also can psychologically affect the balding individual and can Influence others' perceptions of him. A progressive condition, male pattern baldness is known to depend on the presence of the androgen dihydrotestosterone - DHT - and on a genetic predisposition for this condition. Medicines, hair transplantation, and cosmetic aids have been used to manage male pattern baldness. Two US Food and Drug Administration-approved hair-loss drugs - the potassium channel opener minoxidil and the dihydrotestosterone synthesis inhibitor finasteride -- are somewhat effective for controlling male pattern baldness with long-term daily use. Regardless of which treatment is chosen for alopecia, defining and addressing the patient's expectations regarding therapy are paramount in determining outcome.