Alopecia is a general term for hair loss. It has many causes, including disease, hormone imbalances, stress, poor nutrition, medications, and hair care practices. Hereditary thinning is the most common cause of hair loss and can affect both men and women. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes patchy hair loss on the scalp, in the eyebrows, and/or eyelashes. The causes of hair loss can vary greatly, so if you’re troubled by hair loss, your provider will determine the cause and tailor your treatment accordingly.
Unwanted or excess hair is another common problem. Shaving, plucking, and waxing may become tiresome and can cause skin irritation. At Northwest Skin Specialists, our providers have extensive experience with laser hair removal which can be an excellent option for many people.
Onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the nails, causes thickening and discoloration. It is the most common nail disease in adults and accounts for more than half of all nail disorders. Other diseases, including eczema, psoriasis, and lichen planus, can also affect nails. If your provider suspects a fungal nail infection, they may take a sample of your nail to make a diagnosis. Treatment usually includes topical to oral medications. More than one third of patients will experience reinfection within five years and some residual nail changes may remain after treatment. Your provider will work with you to manage your condition.