I recently read a posting on baldingblog where a women suggested the use of Visine to stop hairloss. I’ve heard of using visine to help sooth razorburn an ingrown hair as I assume it has antiflammatory medication.
I’ve read other places that some people think hairloss is a type of immune response of our body, where DHT causes the structure of the hair follicle to change. At some point our own immune systems reject the changed follicle and attack it, ultimately causing the phenomenon we see as balding. Somewhere else I read that in cases, such as people getting transplants take immune suppressing drugs such as Cyclocsporine, to stop organ rejection, actually noticed hair regrowth.
Going back to the woman who earlier spoke of the Visine treatment that she heard, this woman said that her hairloss got worse after she moved. Speaking from my own experience, I have noticed that certain immune responses happen when one changes environment. For instance, I grew up in New Jersey and never suffered any real allergies or medical problems. When I moved out to California when I was 16, notice an increase in my hyper-histamine.. or histamine positive response. I believe thats what you called it. In particular, I developed an allergic reaction to heat.
Anyhow, its interesting to think that environment may have a small role in a complex immune response that results in hair loss.
Is hairloss a more modern occurrence? I mean, does hairloss occur more in modern society? I remember reading an article recently in Wired that said that when comparing lab mice with sewer rats, the sewer rats had “better” immune systems because of their dirty environment. The immune systems of the lab rats tended to overreact to stimuli. On the other hand, the sewer rats immune systems better defended against real threats while not overreacting to things such as allergens. ( https://www.wired.com/news/wireservice/0,71185-0.html)
Anyway, thx for your blog, Dr Rassman. It’s always interesting and entertaining!
I agree with you that although hair loss is caused by genes, it can be influenced by the environment where chemical products, drugs, malnutrition, and stress can induce the expression of balding genes. Hair loss is not a modern society occurrence. Men have been bald since the beginning of recorded time. Hats and wigs have been around since the earliest records in the history of civilization.
Are we more self conscious with hair loss today? Somehow I doubt that, but we do have better communication (like this blog and the internet in general) to share what is happening to us with others. We do know that autoimmune diseases can cause hair loss by creating antibodies attacking the hair follicles, but that may not mean that hair loss is always an immune modulated disorder. A famous doctor told me once that sooner or later (he predicts) that we will learn that every disease entity will arise from either infection or genetics. At this point though, who really knows?