Normally in a healthy person, approximately 85% of scalp hair is in the active growing stage known as anagen hair or thick hair and only 15% are in the resting stage known as telogen hair. Usually, it is normal to lose about 50 to 100 hairs in a day while combing or washing the scalp hair. In case of any precipitating factor or some stress such as any illness and/or some viral fevers like dengue or malaria, which is common in our country, pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies, some weight loss, and many other such conditions the ratio of anagen to telogen hair is reversed and there is noticeable hair fall which requires attention and consultation with a dermatologist.
It is also known as male pattern hair loss which affects almost all men and greatly depends on the genetics of the person. In females, there is a similar kind of hair loss and thinning of hair in the mid frontal area of the scalp which is called female pattern hair loss.
It is a patchy hair loss that can affect any hair-bearing area but it is more common in the scalp or beard region, and most of the time is noticed by hairdressers accidentally. Loss of hair can manifest as a single patch or multiple patches. Alopecia aerates if not treated can lead to permanent hair loss of the scalp known as alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis resulting in complete loss of body hair.
Fungal infection of scalp hair aka tinea capitis
It is a fungal infection of scalp hair more common in children but is also seen in adults. The source of infection is either from soil or animals.
Tinea capitis has many clinical manifestations:
1. Scaling – dandruff like
2. Black dots in which hair are broken off at the scalp surface with scaly smooth areas of hair loss
3. Kerion in which abscess and boils are formed with pus drainage
4. Favus presents with yellow crusta and matted hair