What Senior Citizen Hair Conditions May Say About Their Health

Hair conditions in a senior citizen may signal a serious illness. For example, dull, limp strands, or hair loss, can sometimes indicate a health issue. Here are a few hair conditions the elderly and their caretakers should watch out for these conditions.


senior citizen

Senior Citizen: Hair loss and graying

While thinning and graying hair can be a standard part of aging for both women and men, a recent study of 2,000 men in India showed that participants who had coronary artery disease were more likely to be prematurely bald or gray. The study, conducted by the European Society of Cardiology on men under 40, discovered that the 50 percent of participants with coronary artery disease were more likely to have gone prematurely gray, versus 30 percent of a healthy control group.. The participants in the heart condition group were also more likely (49 percent) to have male pattern baldness, compared with those in the healthy group (27 percent).

Metabolic or hormonal stress and certain medications can cause hair loss, especially if it is sudden. This condition is called Telogen effluvium. In a majority of cases, new hair starts growing within six months, but longer durations of the condition also exist.


Senior Citizen: Brittle, dry hair

Brittle dry air splits easily, possibly due to excessive sun exposure. Thinning hair also leads to a greater risk for scalp sunburn. While hair care products with sunscreen provide some protection, the best bet is to wear a hat made of sun-protective fabric with UPF 30 (ultraviolet protection factor).


Senior Citizen: Dull and limp hair

Healthy hair needs sufficient nutrients. Extreme or crash diets, and certain medications can deprive hair of protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. Proper nutrition is important.


Senior Citizen: Dandruff

Yellow greasy flakes of dandruff could be a sign of seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition that is also quite itchy. It is often found in senior populations, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology. People with this condition may also find patches in their brows, beard and other areas of the body. It is also linked to Parkinson’s disease or HIV.


Senior Citizen: Illness That Can Cause Hair Loss 

Listed below are several health conditions that can cause hair loss in the elderly. These problems all require medications that can cause hair loss.

  • Gout
  • Hormonal Conditions
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Heart Disease
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Thyroid Dysfunction
  • Glaucoma
  • Swelling
  • Ulcers
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • High Cholesterol Level

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