PREMATURE, baldness is often caused by dandruff. Thin hair may be hereditary and the little hair bulbs be only imperfectly developed. Other causes are old age, fevers, syphilis, violent emotion, parasitic diseases, continuous wearing of a hat, and using a comb to the exclusion of a brush. One form of baldness, alopecia areata, is thought by some authorities to be due to an affection of the nerves, others claim a parasite as the cause. In this form round or oval, limited patches become bare on the scalp, or more rarely in the beard, eyebrows or eyelashes. Recovery takes months and even years, and may never occur.
Phosphoric Acid when the hair turns gray or flaxen early, especially after grief; itching of the scalp, debility.
Arsenicum. Hair falls, out in circular patches; general health impaired; scalp sensitive to the slightest touch.
Also Fluoric acid when there is a syphilitic taint.
Graphites. Bald spots on both sides of the head, with itching, moist eruptions.
Preparations containing iron and strychnia are serviceable when there is much debility, also cod liver oil when the body is not well nourished. Galvanism is helpful.
In premature baldness the daily application of the following lotion, is recommended: Carbolic acid, one drachm; tincture of nux vom., four drachms; tincture of red cinchona, four drachms, and eight ounces each of Eau de Cologne and castor oil well mixed and well shaken. In alopecia areata rub thoroughly into the bald spot with a brush at night the following: bichloride of mercury, two grains to half an ounce each of alcohol and water.
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