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A past CIT patient recently contacted us to ask about a small pimple-like bump on his frontal hairline with a tiny hair fragment on top. He mentioned that, immediately following the procedure, he had noticed a few other such bumps but that they disappeared within a few days. This patient wanted to know if a particular medication or treatment could remedy the issue.
This is a fairly common occurrence following a hair transplant procedure. These “bumps” are due to retained hair fragments following surgery. Patients commonly mistake them for ingrown hairs but they are actually a sign that new hairs are trying to grow in where old non-growing fragments are still present. Medication will not help but the good news is that there’s a very simple treatment for it. The patient simply needs to use a pair of tweezers to remove any short, non-growing hair fragments from the scalp. These non-growing fragments should slide out easily. Another possible treatment is to scrub the scalp with soap and a wash cloth to try and remove any non-growing hair fragments. These “bumps” are absolutely nothing to be concerned about and actually indicate that new hair is trying to come in.
The millions of sufferers out there might be intrigued to hear about an exciting new study suggest that a receding hairline might be a good thing. Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine say that men who experience significant hair loss by the age of 30 appear less likely to develop prostate cancer. This study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, surveyed 2,000 men between the ages of 40 and 47. Half of the study participants had suffered prostate cancer. Men who developed bald spots on their crown, as well as a receding hairline, had a 29% to 45% reduction in the risk of developing prostate cancer. Researchers linked high levels of the male hormone testosterone, found in men who lose their hair earlier, with a lower risk of tumors.
By the age of 30, 25% to 30% of men are thought to experience some level of hair loss. Half of all men experience hair loss by the age of 50. Baldness is commonly attributed to excessive dihydrotestosterone (DHT) exposed to the hair follicles. DHT is produced by the male hormone testosterone. Experts believe that men with high levels of testosterone are more likely to lose their hair, particularly if they a familial predisposition.
Is it safe to transplant hair into thinning areas, or do you risk damaging existing hair in these regions?
This is an excellent question and the answer ultimately depends on your doctor’s judgment and your personal hair and hair loss characteristics. The major concern, of course, is whether a transplant will damage the existing hair in the thinning area. If the existing hair is very limited, and likely to fall out eventually anyway, most surgeons would feel comfortable performing a transplant and implanting grafts into this region to restore some density. Even if the existing hair is lost, the net benefit of having it replaced with permanent hair will be worth it.
On the other hand, if the existing hair is relatively dense and/or in good condition, most surgeons would prefer that you first try medical therapy for 6 to 12 months, to see if you can slow your hair loss or even restore some hair. Some surgeons, however, may feel comfortable proceeding with a hair transplant. In this case, your doctor must be careful not to place an excessive number of grafts in this delicate region because this could lead to increased shock loss. Make sure your surgeon speaks honestly with you about the risk of shock loss and limited re-growth if you choose to go this route.
Don’t forget that everyone has only a limited supply of donor hair on their scalp. You do not want to jump into anything, particularly if you are not sure how your hair loss will progress in the future. Top hair transplant doctors will discourage you from rushing into anything and will help you create a long-term plan for combating your hair loss.
Newly Identified Skin Stem Cells Strikingly Similar to Those Found in Embryos
Recent findings show that a new type of stem cell found in the skin acts similarly to certain stem cells found in embryos. Like embryos, these stem cells can generate fat, bone, cartilage, and even nerve cells. According to HHMI International Research Scholar, Freda Miller, these newly-identified dermal cells may prove useful for treating persistent wounds or even neurological disorder. These cells were first noticed several years ago in rodents and humans but have only now been confirmed as stem cells. These cells are capable of self-renewal and can even grow into cell types that make up the skin’s dermal layer under the right conditions. This is particularly interesting in our industry because the dermal stem cells also appear to help form the basis for hair growth. This new work was published in its entirety December 4, 2009, in the journal Cell Stem Cells.