Trichorrhexis nodosa is an extremely prevalent condition that affects the shafts of the hair that grows from the scalp. The hair shafts often have microscopic nodules, which are fragile places on the shaft that can easily cause the hair to break. This makes the hair more prone to breaking. These whitish-yellow nodes are randomly dispersed along the hair shaft, and as a result, they weaken the hair and make it more likely that it will break.
This deficiency can be inherited, and symptoms typically begin to appear within the first year of an affected infant’s life after birth. The autosomal dominant mode of inheritance is responsible for its transmission. Trichorrhexis nodosa can also be acquired, which is the variety that occurs most frequently. In this case, the condition is brought on by a combination of physical and chemical stress on the hair. The excessive combing of the hair, the straightening and perming of the hair, the blow-drying of the hair, the use of high temperatures, and prolonged exposure to UV radiation are some of the physical factors that can cause damage to the hair shaft.
In addition, the hair shafts are more likely to acquire this condition if they are subjected to chemical stress in the form of excessive exposure to salt water, frequent shampooing, bleaching, or the use of sprays. Trichorrhexis nodosa has been linked to a number of other syndromes and conditions, including iron deficiency, ectodermal dysplasia (abnormal growth and development of hair, skin, and nails), Netherton’s syndrome, and Menke’s kinky hair syndrome. This condition has also been linked to hyperthyroidism in some cases.
Causes Trichorrhexis Nodosa
There is a possibility that Trichorrhexis nodosa is inherited or that it can be acquired. A structural distortion in the hair shaft can be brought on by mutations in particular specific genes, which then causes the hair to become fragile and weak. These areas of weakness eventually grow into the characteristic nodules, which are responsible for the increased fragility of the hair shaft and its propensity to break.
The acquired form of this condition is by far the most frequent, and it occurs when the hair strands are subjected to external damage and stress, which can make the hair more prone to breakage. This physical stress can be caused by exposing the hair to extreme heat, drying it with a blow dryer, or treating it with chemicals. Additionally, Trichorrhexis nodosa can be induced in conjunction with other illnesses such as iron insufficiency, hypothyroidism and Menke’s kinky hair syndrome. The condition could be brought on by activities like blow drying, ironing the hair, over-brushing, perming, or the use of an excessive amount of chemical products.
Trichorrhexis nodosa can have a variety of underlying causes, some of which are quite uncommon. Some of these causes include:
- A collection of disorders characterized by abnormal growth of the hair, skin, teeth, nails, or sweat glands (ectodermal dysplasia)
- The disease trichothiodystrophy (hereditary condition that manifests clinically as intellectual impairment, brittle hair, and skin problems.)
- Biotin insufficiency (hereditary condition in which the body is unable to make use of biotin, a component that is essential for healthy hair growth)
Symptoms of Trichorrhexis Nodosa
The hair becomes brittle and readily breaks as a result of trichorrhexis nodosa, which is the most prominent symptom of the condition. Additionally, white specks and nodules can be seen on the hair shafts, and the amount of these can vary. Another sign of this oddity is having hair that is lifeless and brittle, in addition to being unable to grow it out.
Split ends of the hair shaft are something that can frequently be seen. Trichorrhexis nodosa is frequently observed in conjunction with a number of other diseases, including Menke’s kinky hair syndrome, hyperthyroidism, iron insufficiency, and ammonia buildup in the blood. Ectodermal dysplasia may also be present. The most common symptoms of trichorrhexis nodosa are as follows:
- Hair that is brittle and easily breaks
- The appearance of white bumps on the hair shafts
- A lack of luster in the hair
- A slowing down of the hair development process
- The presence of split ends on the hair shaft
Diagnosis of Trichorrhexis Nodosa
A microscopic examination is utilized to assist in the process of making a diagnosis of trichorrhexis nodosa. A single strand of hair is extracted and examined under a microscope for the presence of the telltale white nodules. In order to check for genetic abnormalities, a skin biopsy is occasionally performed. Trichoscopy is a relatively new diagnostic method that has been utilized recently in the investigation of trichorrhexis nodosa.
Trichoscopy makes use of a videodermascope, which inspects the scalp as well as the hair on the patient’s head. Using this procedure, one can witness the preliminary characteristic of two brushes that have been pushed against each other in the opposite way. This is a process that does not entail any intrusive procedures, such as plucking or cutting individual hair strands. Trichorrhexis nodosa and other types of hair shaft abnormalities can be easily and accurately diagnosed with this procedure. It is also very trustworthy.
Treatment of Trichorrhexis Nodosa
The specific type of Trichorrhexis nodosa determines how the condition should be treated. In acquired situations, minimizing or eliminating the physical trauma altogether is helpful and provides improvement. Trichorrhexis nodosa patients who also have underlying disorders are given the appropriate treatment for those conditions if they are present. It is recommended to keep the hair well-conditioned and hydrated at all times in order to reduce the risk of breakage.
It is recommended that the affected individual avoid rough handling and instead practice gentle hair care. There is a flaw in the gene that causes the hereditary version of this sickness, which means that it is impossible to cure in this manner because of the condition. Age can nevertheless bring about improvement and reversal in some cases, and hair may return to its original growth pattern. If you have a condition that is responsible for your trichorrhexis nodosa, it will be treated if at all possible. Your healthcare practitioner may suggest the following steps to limit the amount of damage done to your hair:
- Brushing your hair gently with a soft brush rather than vigorously brushing or ratting it.
- Steer clear of harsh chemicals such as those found in hair straightening products and perming solutions
- Refraining from using an extremely hot blow dryer for extended periods of time and from using an iron on the hair
- Shampooing with a mild cleanser and conditioning your hair afterward
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Make an appointment with your healthcare practitioner if the symptoms do not improve despite adjustments in grooming and other homecare measures.
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