The health of your hair, scalp and nails is likely not something you think about often, at least until a problem arises. In general, healthy hair, scalp and nails are an indication of overall good health. Changes of your nails, including discoloration or thickening, can signal health problems such as liver or kidney diseases, heart and lung conditions or anemia and diabetes. If you notice a sudden change in the condition of your hair, scalp or nails, contact your healthcare provider for an in-person evaluation. The team at Advanced Dermatology is trained to diagnose and treat many conditions that affect the hair, scalp and nails.
Hair loss can range in severity, from thinning hair, to slow hair loss to the most severe form of hair loss known as Alopecia areata. Alopecia is characterized as sudden hair loss with one orf more circular bald patches. Alopecia is thought to be an autoimmune condition but the exact cause is unknown. Although it is more common in children, it can affect adults and those in good health. The hair loss often results in totally smooth round patches or, rarely, complete scalp and body hair loss. In most cases, the hair regrows without treatment, but your dermatologist may recommend treatment to increase hair growth speed.
Most hair loss is non-scarring (non-cicatricial), meaning the hair follicles can still grow hair. There are rare cases when hair loss may be scarring (cicatricial), where hair follicles are replaced by scar tissue. If you notice increased hair falling out, thinning or bald patches, it is important to consult a board-certified dermatologist.
Scarring (cicatricial) alopecia is a rare form that destroys the hair follicle, replaces it with scar tissue and leads to permanent hair loss. In some cases, hair loss is slow and without symptoms; while in other cases, hair loss is rapid and associated with itching, burning and pain. The hair loss is patchy and the scalp may have redness, scaling, changes in pigmentation, pustules or draining sinuses. Cicatricial alopecia occurs in healthy men and women of all ages. Although the cause is unknown, treatment focuses on stopping the spread of inflammation and controlling signs and symptoms.
Treatments for hair and scalp issues vary based on the diagnosis. Your dermatologist may perform a scalp biopsy (removing a small piece of the scalp), or occasionally, draw blood to diagnose the condition. Treatment options are determined following the accurate diagnosis by a board-certified dermatologist. In some cases, hair loss may resolve without treatment or it may be permanent.
“Advanced Dermatology addressed my pre-cancerous skin damage as discussed/advised and to my satisfaction. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness and care Dr. Ingraham takes to explain the condition, the solution, and the precaution measures I will need to take. I always feel I'm in expert hands here as a result. Advanced honors my appointments as scheduled and the staff always seem to appreciate my business. I highly recommend these guys.”
“I’ve been seeing Dr. Ingraham for four years for treatment of wrinkles and aging and her touch and technique with Botox injections (and other aging treatments) is first class.”
“I will never go to any other dermatologist! Dr. Duncan has taken care of me for about seven years now, and she is an incredible doctor. The best thing about her is that she is an expert on making you look refreshed and younger without any signs that you have had anything done. I get Botox and filler from Dr. Duncan, and no one can believe that I am 44, or for that matter that I have had any work done. Subtlety is her specialty! [She has] a keen eye for assessing your particular needs, without pushing unnecessary treatments or products. Advanced Dermatology takes pride in their work and it shows!”
Nails are often a barometer for the state of your overall health and changes in the appearance of your nails may be an indication of larger health problems. As you age, nail problems may become more common, with a large number of senior citizens being among those affected.
Commonly found in toenails, fungal infections cause nearly half of all nail related disorders. Other nail related issues include: white spots caused by injury to the nail, bacterial infections, ingrown nails and vertical lines, known as splinter hemorrhages caused by certain drugs or injury.
One of the most important changes to look for in your nails are dark-colored spots or streaks within the nail plate—this could be an indication of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. These dark spots are often mistaken as nail injuries, so they should be monitored and if the discoloration does not improve over time, you should contact your dermatologist.
Nail conditions that Advanced Dermatology treats
The treatment options for nail conditions vary based on your diagnosis. Make an appointment with your dermatologist for an in-person evaluation.
Advanced Dermatology has three locations in the Houston area including Katy, Pearland and Sugar Land. To schedule a consultation, appointment or ask us a question, click below. We look forward to hearing from you!