Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does smoking cause hair loss?"
My dad told me that it does. Is this true? I've been a smoker for like 5 years.
Smoking can cause many health problems. While hair loss is not typically one of those problems, there are many much more important health problems to think about when it comes to smoking. Hair loss comes in a variety of forms. The most common form in males is the so called male pattern baldness also known as androgenic allopecia. This type of baldness is driven by the hormone dihydrotestosterone (also known as DHT). While all males have DHT, those of us with a family history of the condition (especially on the mothers side) lose hair in response to DHT. While smoking probably doesn't affect this process too much, it certainly won't help you keep hair. More commonly, smoking is associated with lung diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer, and heart diseases such as coronary artery disease and heart failure. These are the conditions you will most likely die from if you continue to smoke. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can review with you some excellent quit smoking techniques that you can try. In addition, if you would like to try a medication to help you quit smoking, that is available to you as well.
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