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The Connection Between Hair Loss and White Blood Cells
by April Maguire
Hair loss isn’t just an aesthetic issue. The condition can also cause a great deal of psychological pain and even have a significant effect on your self-esteem. While hair loss sufferers have long attributed their condition to factors like hormones and genetics, a new study suggests that the balding may in fact be caused by a person’s immune system. According to a recent study, researchers found a correlation between certain immune system cells and the skin cells that enable hair to grow.
What the Science Says
Hair loss is not uncommon in the United States. In fact, according to the American Hair Loss Association, two thirds of men will suffer from some degree of hair loss by age 35. While a number of factors can contribute to hair loss, scientists have recently turned their attention to macrophages.
For a long time, scientists have struggled to determine how various types of skin cells activate hair growth. A type of white blood cell, macrophages consume pathogens and can signal skin cells to produce hair. In a recent PLOS Biology study involving mice, researchers found that administering anti-inflammatory drugs had an effect on hair growth. By treating the macrophages, scientists were able to manipulate the cells into reactivating hair follicles.
According to the study’s author, Dr. Mirna Perez-Moreno of Spain, the relationship between macrophages and hair growth is not yet fully understood. More research will be necessary to identify ways of curing hair loss at the cellular level. However, the scientists involved in the research do believe that the hair growth effects seen in mice can be replicated in human subjects within the next five to 10 years. In no time at all, balding and hair loss may well become problems of the past.
Modern Treatments Offer New Hope for Hair Loss Sufferers
Feel like you lost the genetic lottery when it comes to your hair? If you’re currently suffering from hair loss, it’s important not to panic; many of the products and services on the market today can help reverse the genetic curse, restoring your hair to its former thickness and glory. Along with drugs like Rogaine and Propecia, a number of effective treatments exist including hair grafting and transplantation. While expensive, these therapies can have a profound affect on both physical hair growth and overall self-esteem. Ask your doctor about the treatment type that’s best for you.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!