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Painkillers and Hair Loss

Michael Jackson Hair Loss Pain Killers The Belgravia Centre

Addicted to painkillers? It’s rumoured that Michael had lost most of his hair, forcing him to wear a wig. Could this have been directly related to the painkillers he took?

It is surprising to many people that the overuse of common painkillers can cause hair loss. Medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen can all affect normal hair growth, to the point of causing hair to fall out. These non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can upset your hair growth cycle, causing it stop prematurely.

Some hair loss is natural

Human hair grows according to a cycle where only 90% of your hair is actually growing at any point in time. The other 10% of your hair follicles are in a state known as “telogen”, where the follicles enter a resting state and the attached hair falls out.

The average human loses up to 100 hairs every day, mostly from follicles which are in the telogen phase of the growth cycle. This hair loss is completely normal and once the follicle resumes growing, will be replaced naturally.

However, when daily hair loss exceeds 100 hairs, or fails to grow back, there is clearly something else afoot. Hair follicles which enter telogen prematurely, or which fail to resume normal growth leading to hair loss, are part of a condition known as Telogen Effluvium.

Drug-related Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium can be caused by a number of factors, but the over use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is a recognised source of the condition. It is worth noting however that Telogen Effluvium brought about by in this way is only as a result of chronic overuse of the medications.

Human hair has long been recognised as a gauge by which to accurately judge general heath. The thinning of hair, or unexpected hair loss is often one of the first indicators that something more serious is amiss.

The heavy use of painkillers is also an indication of there being an underlying condition which needs to be addressed. Pain is the body’s natural way of alerting you that something is not right – if you need to take painkillers on a regular basis to deaden the pain, it is likely that you need to seek medical advice from your GP.

There is good news

The good news is that hair loss caused by over use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications tends to be totally reversible. By simply stopping the intake of painkillers, the normal hair growth cycle should resume and any patchy baldness will resolve itself over time.

In the event that the hair loss is more stubborn or does not resume normal regrowth as expected, The Belgravia Centre’s hair loss experts are on hand to help. Hundreds of men and women have been successfully treated at The Belgravia Centre clinic in London and many more further afield using our postal treatment service – see our online archive of success stories for further details.

Why not contact us online or call us today on 0800 077 6666 to arrange a free appointment with one of our hair loss specialists, who will be able to discuss your hair loss condition and the part painkiller use may be playing in it. Alternatively, if you can’t make it to our London clinic, complete our online diagnostic form for advice and hair loss treatment on a remote basis.

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2 Comments

31st October, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Reisling

Sorry, I couldn't take your article seriously after your opening but blaming Michael Jackson's wig on painkiller hair loss. Like, his entire scalp catching on fire in 1984 had nothing to do with it. Do research please.

31st October, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Reisling - you can find out more about the hair loss caused by Michael Jackson's pyrotechnic accident, here.

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