Shedding Hair, Toe Hair and a Ring around the Eye?!

Playing How Much Daily Hair Loss Is Normal?

The Doctors are ready to answer viewers questions! Kiff joins them in the audience to ask about her recent hair loss. She says when she brushes, a lot more hair than usual comes out and she wants to know if this should be a concern and, is there anything to stop it?

Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra asks Kiff a series of questions to deduce if it is due to extreme stress or a recent shock to her system like surgery or childbirth. She also asks about new medications, but Kiff hasn’t had any of those changes. 

Watch: Postpartum Shedding?

Dr. Batra says it can also be a nutritional change because dieting can sometimes result in a lower intake of Vitamin B or iron. Bingo! Kiff says that could be it since she has been dieting lately. 

Dr. Batra explains at any given time 90% of hair is either growing, resting or shedding. When you start to lose a whole bunch at once, more hair is being pulled into the shedding phase. This condition is known as telogen effluvium and luckily, it will usually just run its course over 4 – 6 months.  

Dr. Batra says it's normal to shed about 50 – 100 hairs per day but if you find you are shedding more hair than you typically do, you should see a doctor to make sure there isn’t a medical cause. In the meantime, there are some ways to preserve the hair. Dr. Batra recommends avoiding things that will damage the hair like chemical and heat processes. She says to use sulfate-free products and to avoid aggressively brushing hair when it is wet and most fragile.  

Another viewer writes in on Facebook wondering what the rings around her eyes mean. She says her vision is fine but she noticed these rings have formed as she has gotten older.

Eye surgeon Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler joins The Doctors to answer this one. He says that these rings can actually be a sign of high cholesterol in people over 40. The condition is known as arcus senilis and it's caused by lipid deposits in the eye. Dr. Boxer Wachler says you want to get a full eye exam because if this is diagnosed, then you need to go to your regular doctor to address potentially high cholesterol. 

The last viewer question is also about hair… but on her toes. Mary tweets that as she’s gotten older she has developed long toe hairs! She says she has never had this issue before and wants to know what is going on. 

Dr. Batra explains that hormones shift as you age and in women, when estrogen levels drop, the balance shifts so there is a relative dominance of androgenic, male hormones, and they act on the hair follicles. These hormones will lengthen the anagen cycle which results in darker, longer hair. “It’s very annoying to women,” exclaims Dr. Batra! 

Dr. Batra says there are ways to deal with this hair. If it’s darker you can use a laser treatment. Or, for temporary results, you can always wax, tweeze or shave. If the hair is white she suggests considering electrolysis. It sounds like women aren’t the only ones with hair in unfortunate places because ER physician Dr. Travis Stork shares his own hair concerns!