Hair Loss on Legs
If you have noticed that you are losing hair on your legs, you may assume it is happening because you’re getting older. If you don’t feel any different or notice other symptoms, it is easy to brush it off without considering more serious underlying issues.
Even without detectable symptoms, you may have developed a condition known as peripheral artery disease (PAD), which most commonly impacts the arteries in the legs. With PAD, the arteries become hardened when plaque attaches to the artery walls and blood flow to your legs becomes restricted. In order for hair to grow, there must be a consistent blood supply.
There are many signs you may have PAD, but one that is often overlooked is diminished hair growth on the legs. Although some people may not view losing hair on the legs as a problem, it is important to know that in conjunction with other symptoms, it may indicate a larger health issue.
What Can Cause You to Start Losing Hair on the Legs?
Hair loss can occur on your legs just as it can on your head, and, similarly, genetics can play a role in this issue. If baldness runs in the family, also known as alopecia, you could also suffer from the condition as the hair on your legs gets thinner.
Alopecia areata is a hair loss disorder that causes the immune system to confuse hair cells as being foreign invaders and attack them. Hair loss of the legs is called anterolateral leg alopecia.
Besides PAD, other conditions that may lead to hair loss on your legs include:
- Poor circulation
- Thyroid conditions
- Fungal infection
- Folliculitis in severe stages
- Hormone changes
- Pituitary gland disorders
You can also suffer from hair loss if your body is deficient in certain nutrients, such as iron, vitamin D, or zinc. Steroid use can lead to loss of hair on the legs and elsewhere. Since the causes of leg hair loss are so numerous, it’s important to take all your symptoms into account to get an accurate diagnosis. If you have other signs of PAD, you should seek out further evaluation from a medical professional.
How Does PAD Cause Hair Loss on the Legs?
Hair follicles require nutrients to keep them healthy and to allow your hair to grow. Those nutrients are carried through the bloodstream. When people have PAD, their arteries are narrowed by plaque buildup. This makes it difficult for adequate blood and oxygen to provide nourishment to the muscles, tissue, and other parts of the leg, including the hair follicles.
When the hair follicles don’t receive enough nutrition, the hair will stop growing. You may notice patches of hair loss on the legs. This may coincide with other symptoms, such as leg pain or numbness in the legs.
PAD is a progressive disease that can start with mild symptoms or none at all. Early detection and diagnosis of symptoms like leg pain and hair loss on the legs can help prevent the progression of the disease.
Treatment for PAD
USA Vascular Centers offers various minimally invasive treatment options for PAD including stent angioplasty. This outpatient procedure does not require a hospital stay and involves a tiny catheter being inserted into the blocked artery. The catheter implants a small, mesh stent that is wrapped around a tiny balloon. The stent expands with the balloon and compresses the plaque formation in the artery so that blood can flow freely again.
Schedule a Consultation with USA Vascular Today
If you have noticed that the hair on your legs isn’t growing like it used to, our vascular specialists are here to help. We’re committed to answering your questions and improving your quality of life. Give us a call at 888.773.2193to schedule a consultation with our leading vascular specialists who can determine if vascular treatment is right for you.