Hair loss after 75.
Form someone to have full hair in the 50s and 60s and then to develop hair loss in the 70s is not common. However, hair loss is emotional and devastating at any age. Treating hair loss in individuals over 75 can be challenging because multiple diagnoses are often present (rather than a single diagnosis). I advise patients to make sure their physician has enough time set aside to do the necessary 'detective work' to give answers about your diagnosis and then time to provide treatment solutions.
Common causes of hair loss above 75 include:
- hair loss from age related changes to the follicle (senescent alopecia)
- hair loss from multiple medications, hair loss from surgeries (including those with general anesthetics), hair loss from dietary issues
- scarring alopecias (lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia)
- hair loss from androgenetic alopecia that developed in the 30s or 40s and has progressed
- chronic shedding problems (chronic telogen effluvium)
In order to improve the hair, each of these issues needs to be addressed.
The experience of the physician is important because individuals over 75 may be more sensitive to mediations used to treat hair loss problems. Lower doses and more frequent monitoring may be needed. Some medications can't be used if there are coexistent medical problems. For example, minoxidil, a common hair loss treatment for female or age related hair loss, can't be used in individuals with heart problems or issues with blood pressure. For scarring alopecias, lower doses of medications also need to be used (i.e hydroxychloroquine). Knowing what treatment to prescribe and the proper dosing comes with experience.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299