Hair loss is a big deal to many people. Going bald is an experienced dreaded by most everyone on the planet. Not everyone’s lucky enough to be able to shave their head to hide it; even those who can have lines of stubble that give it away. The biggest question people have is why hair loss happens to some people but not others. Medical science often attributes hair loss to age, but there are plenty of people in their 70’s and 80’s with full heads of hair. What are they doing differently than the rest of us? Science says it’s a combination of genetics and lifestyle, including nutrition. Regardless of why it occurs, it’s an uncomfortable situation for those who suffer from it.
Psoriasis should be treated prior to FUT
Hair transplants aren’t a big deal for most people; they’re safe and effective. However, when a patient suffers from a scalp condition – like psoriasis – a hair transplant can exacerbate their situation. Not everyone with psoriasis is able to undergo surgical hair restoration procedures until they’ve successfully treated their condition. Specifically, the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) process should be approached with caution for psoriasis patients. Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes skin cells to divide abnormally fast. This causes thick, red patches of skin to build up around the affected area. Often, lesions are formed as well. On a daily basis, skin cells die and regenerate on a regular basis. When skin experiences a wound, it triggers the healing process. Through the healing process, new skin cells are created. In a psoriasis patient, this process is going to occur more rapidly. The surgical wounds created during the FUT process will induce the body’s natural healing process and can cause more psoriatic lesions on the patient’s scalp. These lesions can develop in the donor and recipient sites. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does happen, it’s extremely uncomfortable for the patient. The severity of psoriasis in each patient is different, and the risk is minimal for some. Still, physicians should treat the patient to the best of their ability prior to allowing them to have hair transplant surgery.
Natural psoriasis solutions
According to Dr. Mercola, there are plenty of natural remedies for psoriasis, many of which are found in the kitchen. One of the best recommendations is turmeric. Dr. Mercola says, “since psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, you can rely on this yellow spice, which is typically used in Indian cuisine, to help with pain relief. Curcumin, a component in the spice, is responsible for providing immense anti-inflammatory relief by combatting the inflammation at the molecular level.” Other natural treatment options include tea tree oil, capsaicin, aloe vera, and apple cider vinegar. Dr. Mercola also shares his expertise on how to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis through diet. The idea is to eat foods that are naturally anti-inflammatory, like wild-caught Alaskan salmon for the high amounts of omega-3 fats. Other foods that reduce inflammation are flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts, and green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Leafy greens have been shown to work well for treating psoriasis among other diseases.
Hair loss treatments are popular
Treating hair loss is a $3.5 billion industry, according to the Washington Post, and $2.5 billion goes to surgical hair restoration procedures. For those who have enough hair left to transplant, the FUT procedure (Follicular Unit Transplant) is currently the most popular. With this procedure, the surgeon takes a strip of hair from the donor site and as Maxim Hair Restoration explains, “dissects it into individual grafts and follicular units.” Each of these units contains between 1-3 hair follicles. Next, the hairline is prepared according to the patient’s facial structure and hair characteristics and the recipient sites are prepared by “making tiny incisions where the grafts can be implanted.”
Are stem cells the future of hair restoration?
The future shows promise of using stem cells for hair restoration, and is being referred to by a team of Japanese researchers as “follicular regeneration.” According to Forbes.com, “Hair follicles are the sheaths of cells and tissues that surround the roots of our hair, providing it with nourishment.” Other than skin, hair follicles are the only organ that regenerates itself thanks to stem cells. One strand of hair grows for approximately 3-7 years at which point the follicle sheds the hair. After a couple of months, the cycle restarts. Using the follicular regeneration technique, a small patch of skin and hair follicles are removed from the scalp. At this point, stem cells are extracted and cultivated to increase the quantity. Next, the stem cells are turned into follicles and grafted onto the patient’s scalp. This method isn’t commercial yet, though it won’t be long before we see this option on the market.