Top 3 Infectious Agents that Cause Hair Loss

Top 3 Infectious Agents that Cause Hair Loss

Preventing or stopping hair loss is not completely out of your hands. Sometimes, all you need to do in order to walk away from the brink of baldness is take better care of your hair. You will be surprised to know the number of people who experience hair loss annually simply because they are ignorant about keeping their hair clean, neat and tidy. Dirty hair is bound to fall off sooner rather than later.

There is a very good scientific reasoning for why maintaining hair hygiene is pivotal to preventing hair loss. As your hair gets dirtier, more and more contaminants accumulate on the scalp. These contaminants contain materials that pollute the air such as dirt. They also contain grease and other sticky forms of filth. As these contaminants gather together on the scalp, they create a nesting ground for bacteria and fungi. This eventually leads to bacterial and fungal infections on the scalp.

Fungal and bacterial infections on the scalp can have several detrimental effects on the health of your hair shafts and hair follicles. By damaging hair follicles and hair cells, scalp infections are able to impede the growth of hair. They are also able to make the hair weaker and more vulnerable to damage. Damaged and broken hair is very likely to fall off the scalp.

Hair loss prevention is all about acquiring as much information as you can about the cause of your hair loss. In the case of a scalp infection, it is important for you to get to know the infectious agents that are causing your hair to fall out. Learning about these agents will allow you to effectively alleviate scalp infections and slow down the progression of your hair loss to a minimum. The following are descriptions of the top three infectious agents that cause hair loss.

1) Ringworm

If you have studied biology in elementary or high school, then you must have heard of the ringworm. Interestingly, the ringworm has absolutely nothing to do with worms. It is a fungal infection that can form in just about any part of the body. As frightening as it may sound, the scalp is one of the most common places in which the ringworm develops. The presence of ringworm on the scalp can lead to patches of hair loss and the creation of bald spots on the head. Ringworm is no different from the athlete’s foot. It is also the same as the fungal infection that takes place in the nails.

Ringworms appear as small pimples during the initial stages of their formation on the scalp. As time progresses, these ringworms expand in size leaving behind scaly patches of temporary baldness on the scalp. The fungus that causes the ringworm has the ability to penetrate the hair fibers in the affected area. As a result of the fungal infiltration, the hair becomes extremely brittle. Brittle hair is very prone to breakage. As the hair breaks off, a bald patch of skin is left behind.

The areas which are affected by the ringworm are usually inflamed, itchy and red. The scaly patches can also blister and ooze. None of these cause significant pain, but they do put the victim in a state of discomfort. The patches have a red border on the outside. This is where the fungal infection gets its name from, the ringworm. Medications and topical solutions are usually good enough to get rid of ringworms.

2) Folliculitis

If you have spent a considerable amount of time researching hair loss causes and scalp infections, then you must have come across the word folliculitis before. It has been pinned down as one of the major causes of modern day hair loss in people around the world. Folliculitis can be defined as the inflammation of the hair follicles. The appearance of this inflammation is quite similar to that of acne.

The hair fiber stays intact during the early stages of folliculitis. As the inflammation progresses, the hair falls out. This is how folliculitis leads to hair loss. As the hair falls out of the scalp, little bald patches are left behind which keep growing as long as the folliculitis persists.

Non-prescription topical antibiotics are mainly used to fight off mild forms of folliculitis. The more severe cases of folliculitis require the person to start a course of oral antibiotics.

3) Piedra

Piedra is the name given to an infection that takes place when a particular fungus infects the hair fibers. The visible indicator piedra is the formation of hard nodules that can be spotted in the infected area i.e. the hair fibers.

There are two types of piedra; the white piedra and the black piedra. Both lead to hair loss. Piedra can affect hairs on the scalp as well as those in other parts of the body. Shaving the hair off in affected areas is the easiest way to treat piedra.