December 17, 2012
What Male Hair Loss on Legs Can Indicate
Why must male hair loss on legs cause a furor? Leg hairs are non-functional, it can be hidden and there are those who even shave it, it is not supposed to be a big thing because it does not serve and important purpose. Then what’s the big deal about hair loss on legs?
Hair loss is normal especially with aging but it can also indicate other things such as an underlying disease. It can be caused by any of the following factors: stress, adverse reactions to certain medicines, or just like what trigger male pattern baldness – genes and hormones.
One medical condition that can lead to massive hair loss on the legs, in the entire body and on the scalp is alopecia areata which is an autoimmune disease. It can also be a symptom of alopecia universalis or full body alopecia. If there is also patterned hair loss or baldness on the head or androgenic alopecia, then more likely this is can be regarded as akin to it or that it is genetically triggered and expressed in the hormones. Being genetic and hormonal in nature, this kind of hair loss cannot be stopped but can be slowed down or the miniaturized hairs be made thicker to appear denser. Hormonal imbalances can also cause hair loss and can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It necessitates medical consultations to ascertain the real underlying medical cause. An early diagnosis is most helpful because hair loss due to genetic factors is irreversible. Getting early treatments promptly while there are still hairs can save the remaining hairs.
Male hair loss on legs can be a symptom of atherosclerosis or the narrowing of arteries due to fatty deposits. This can lead to the decreased blood flow to the skin in the distal parts of the body and that would be the legs. This is indicated by shiny, smooth texture of the skin down there. Diabetes is a hormonal disorder that can trigger hair loss on the head and the body. Loss of hair in the head and skin can also be a side effect of drugs taken to combat diabetes or other diseases like cancer. A common medication for diabetes which is metformin tends to prevent the absorption of vitamin B12 from the diet, thus, depleting the reserve of the body. The depletion of vitamin B12 is manifested by hair loss. Hair loss due to chemotherapy is one of the most well known side effects exhibited by cancer patients on chemotherapy. Use of steroids may also manifest effects on hair growth.
Bacterial and fungal infections can also cause hair loss on the lower extremities. Bacterial infections resulting in boils, sores or feverish red spots can kill hair follicles in the surrounding skin tissues that lead to hair loss. It can also be caused by folliculitis which is a bacterial infection of the hair follicles. Fungal infections like ringworms can similarly render hair loss on those skin parts where the infection develops. Skin conditions such as psoriasis can also contribute to the problem.
The effects of stress or trauma cannot be underestimated. It can go all the way to hair loss. Traumatic events, stress or a sudden shock which may encompass both emotional and physical trauma can cause telogen effluvium. This is just transient; hair is expected to grow back as soon as the stress is eliminated or addressed. Hair loss can also be triggered by poor diet or lack of certain dietary supplements due to certain diseases or as a side effect of certain drugs. The drop in the vitamin B12 among diabetic patients taking metformin is an example. A lack of protein or iron in a man’s diet greatly contributes to hair loss. This can be addressed by taking supplements, change of medication and fortifying the diet.
Male hair loss on legs can indicate some serious underlying conditions that need attention. Yet, it can also be as menial as friction because of tight outfits. Whatever is the reason, it is important to see a doctor and not just do second guessing.