The phenomenon of hair loss is undoubtedly one of the most profoundly confidence-shattering conditions that can affect a man. Although the loss of hair in men is most commonly associated with a thinning scalp, the progressive loss of hair can occur in other parts of the body such as the face, arms, legs, chest, and even the pubic region.
Much has been said about genital hair removal trends in recent decades. The practice of voluntarily removing pubic hair either partially or entirely has been hotly debated in social and medical circles. Some who support and advocate the practice see it is an aesthetic choice; others treat it as a hygienic norm. The detractors of pubic hair removal say that the practice significantly increases the risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Whatever side of the debate you fall on, what happens when pubic hair begins to fall on its own? What is the medical significance for a man that starts to lose pubic hair? And most importantly, what type of factors can be at the root, no pun intended, of the issue?
POSSIBLE PUBIC HAIRLOSS CAUSES
It is important to recognize that some degree of hair loss is consistent with aging. Age-related hair loss is entirely in line with the regular changes that the human body undergoes as it leaves its youth behind. Men are especially susceptible to age-related hair loss as can be seen in the extremely high incidence of balding older men. Although the changes brought on by age certainly do not represent pathology, it is crucial to understand them fully.
First, the regenerative capacity of all cells decreases as the body ages. Vascularization is also gradually lost, so the blood and oxygen supply to the capillary bed is diminished. Lastly, all androgenic activity is disrupted; which means all body processes customarily regulated by hormonal action, as is the case of hair growth, are affected.
As previously mentioned, age-related hormonal fluctuations set the stage for abnormal hair loss, yet hormonal imbalances can occur at any age for various reasons. Hormonal imbalances are potentially dangerous and should be taken seriously if detected. In this manner, the loss of pubic hair can serve to call attention to the presence of a harmful health condition. Hormones participate in multiple vital processes, and therefore an imbalance can disrupt essential functions.
While women also experience a noticeable thinning of pubic hair during menopause, it is men who are typically affected due to hormonal imbalances. The same androgenic interaction between the neural androgen receptor, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone that is responsible for androgenic alopecia, can affect follicular integrity and hair growth in the pubic area.
An abnormal immune response in the body can generate inflammatory processes that are able to inhibit hair growth near the genital area potentially. The most common autoimmune condition related to hair loss is known as Alopecia Areata. This hereditary condition occurs when the immune system attacks individual hair follicles, and lymphocyte accretion causes inflammation and subsequent loss of hair. Unfortunately, Alopecia Areata does not have a cure, and the hair loss is often permanent. Thankfully the condition is somewhat rare, and the incidence is only about 0.02 % of the general population.
Other diseases that have been known to cause pubic hair loss are Hashimoto’s and Addison’s. These are serious, although rare conditions that affect the body’s thyroid and adrenal functions respectively. However, it is important to note that these conditions affect women predominantly, and are rarely the cause of pubic hair loss in men.
Around the world, there are various fungal organisms which are known to cause hair loss. Most commonly, infections with Microsporum audouinii is, and Trichophyton tonsurans are to blame. In males, a particular condition known as Tinea Cruris, most widely known as Jock Itch, is a type of ringworm infection that affects the groin area. Tinea Cruris is caused primarily by Trichophyton rubrum. These types of diseases are highly contagious and as such extreme care should be taken when they are present. They are easily preventable and can be effectively treated with available antifungal medications.
A familiar yet unfortunate side effect of many prescription medications is a sudden bout of hair loss. These medications are able to trigger a loss of hair in both the scalp and the genital region. In fact, medication-induced alopecia is a common side effect of many psycho-pharmaceuticals prescribed for the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, and other psychological ailments. Anti-depressants and mood stabilizers are especially adept at triggering bouts of pubic hair loss in men. For example, Lithium, which is commonly prescribed to treat schizophrenia and major depression, causes pubic hair loss in up to 20% of long-time users.
Chemotherapy medications are well-documented triggers of hair loss. Most cancer patients receiving doses of chemotherapeutic agents experience a temporary total hair loss of the scalp, face, and body, including the pubis. Systemic inhabitance of rapidly dividing cells with high mitotic rates, such as those found inside hair follicles, causes this side effect. Most patients will recuperate any hair lost during treatment when its administration ceases.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?
The loss of pubic hair can happen abruptly, or it can happen gradually over an extended period. Various factors or conditions can actively contribute to the loss of pubic hair; thus, its presence can be used as an indicator and diagnosis tool. Because of the medically significant information that pubic hair loss can provide your doctor, it is important to notify and discuss the condition thoroughly so as to more efficiently arrive at an effective treatment.
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- WIKIPEDIA Pubic Hair Loss