Inflammation and hair loss: What you need to know

Inflammation and hair loss: What you need to know

Often inflammation is considered as an internal issue, but there are external signs of inflammation in the form of swelling and irritation that can lead to hair loss. While all inflammations are not created equally, they need not be bad as well. The immune system activates inflammation in the form of a defence system where the body stays protected from injury, illness and other toxic invasions. The cells and organs of your body are protected by a complicated cascade of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators. In some cases, though, inflammation can be indicative of a serious problem. This generally happens when the inflammatory response is triggered due to various factors and is improperly regulated.

Inflammation and hair loss

Unfortunately, inflammation can lead to hair loss. While the body is trying to fight intruding microorganisms, the body’s immune system may also interpret the cells and organs as foreign organisms and fight them. Similarly, the hair follicles are considered as intruding elements and as a result are destroyed by the body’s immune system. Alopecia areata is a popular hair loss condition that occurs as a result of inflammation. The hair roots are unable to obtain proper nutrition, during this time and the scalp is damaged by the immune system. Eventually, red itchy spots form and other skin irritations appear on the damaged scalp.


Long term inflammation is indicative of a more serious problem as well.


Inflammation can be a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. For instance, a species of bacteria known as H pylori can lead to infection. An immune system reaction due to the imbalance of bacteria and fungi in the gut may also be the cause of inflammation. Other than that, allergic reactions, physical and emotional stress, exposure to toxins and a sedentary lifestyle can all lead to inflammation and hair loss.

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