Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hair Problem among Elderly


Hair Problem among Elderly

  • As people age, most people experience changes of their body functions and organs in some way due to changes in individual cells and in body organs
  • These changes may result in changes in appearance and thus the experience of aging
  • Similarly, hair colour starts to change and by age of 50 years old, 50% of the hair in 50% of people will have turn grey. This is mainly due to the loss of melanocytes (pigment-producing cells)
  • The degree of hair graying often runs in families, however, the responsible genes are unknown
Symptoms and signs of hair problem among elderly
As a person ages, the hair quality and distribution can change considerably and hair may become thinner, more brittle and loses its natural colour.
The common aging changes in hair include:
  1. Hair color change
    • This is one of the obvious signs of aging
    • Hair graying usually starts as early as the 30s. With aging, less melanin are formed by the hair follicles.
    • Hair on the scalp usually starts to turn grey at the temples region and extend upwards toward the roof of the scalp.
    • Hair color becomes lighter and eventually turning white
    • Hair on the body and face will also turn grey. This occur much later compare to the scalp hair.
    • The speed of hair graying may be determined by genetic factors
  1. Hair loss
    • With aging almost everyone has some hair loss due to the slowing down of hair growth
    • Many hair follicles stop producing new hairs
    • Eventually, the hair becomes thin, fine and light-colored
    • Baldness may occur in both sexes but with differing distribution
    • Men may start showing signs of baldness by the time they are 30 years old and many men are nearly bald by age 60. In male-pattern baldness, hair may be lost at the vertex (top of head) and front temporal (front and side) region
    • In women, they can have loss of hair after menopause and this is called female-pattern baldness i.e. hair becomes less dense and the scalp may become more visible
    • As a person ages, body and facial hair are also lost
  1. Excessive hair growth
    • In women, excessive or unwanted hair growth becomes common after menopause. Facial hair may become coarser, especially on the chin and around the lips
    • Men may  notice  that hair grow longer and coarser in eyebrow, ear and nose regions

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