I’m a 23-year-old female and have seborrheic dermatitis in my hair since many years, due to which I’ve lost 80 per cent of my hair. I’m facing issues with hair thinning and scalp inflammation too. I’ve also used Minoxidil twice in the past for hair loss but it did not work. Please help.

You are suffering from two different skin and hair problems. Your complaint of seborrheic dermatitis (SD) – one of the most common causes of severe dandruff of the scalp – is primarily related to rashes on the swollen, reddened scalp, creating an itchy reaction with scaling of the scalp. The exact cause is not clear.

However, the sufferer’s genetic pre-disposition, general health and immunity status and severe psychosocial stress are among the most suspected precipitating or aggravating factors. In cases where SD also involves facial skin, prolonged sun exposure and excessive alcohol intake can also worsen the condition. In addition to scalp and face, the skin of the body folds – armpits, groins, deep buttock creases, peri-anal areas, skin creases under the breasts in women – are other commonly affected areas. In overweight/obese sufferers, skin over the neck folds and sagging abdominal folds are also affected.

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As for your severe hair fall, I don’t think SD is directly a cause of it. However, many of the factors aggravating seborrheic dermatitis, particularly severe psychological stress, can trigger excessive hair loss (a condition called Telogen Effluvium). Traumatic fractures of hair shafts due to vigorous scratching of scalp can also be another factor.

Severe hair fall in a young woman of your age can also have several other causes in the suspicion list.

Hormonal abnormalities, nutritional deficiencies – either due to restricted food intake for crash diet programmes or due to several malabsorption syndromes, metabolic disorders, consumption of medications or any underlying auto-immune diseases – are among the long list of factors.

For treating hair fall, we have few therapeutic options, including Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections, combination Mesotherapy, together with ultrasonic stimulation of hair follicles and a couple of other effective treatments.

Use of topical Minoxidil, as you’re already doing, may not prove to be an effective solution to your problem. Most importantly, we must investigate you to rule out presence of any of the above-listed internal causes.

Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir is a Dubai-based dermatologist. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.