The human body produces hair everywhere except for on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, though many of these hairs are so small and fine that they seem invisible. Hair is made from a protein known as keratin. Keratin is the same type of protein that our nails are made from. Hair is actually a collection of dead skin cells that get pushed through follicles. This means the hair that covers the majority of our body is in fact a string of dead protein cells.
The conditions that cause body hair loss differ rather sharply from those that cause hair loss from the top of the head. There are generally 5 different reasons for body hair loss. They are skin conditions, hormonal disorders, medications and other medical illnesses, stress, and diet.
Of the different reasons for body hair loss, skin conditions pose the most risk for long-term damage. Skin conditions include burns, eczema, psoriasis, skin injury, and dermatitis. These types of conditions often cause damage directly to the follicles and the cells surrounding them, rendering new hair growth impossible. Burns are especially dangerous and severe skin burns can damage cells so bad that they cannot be regenerated. Burns are divided into three different categories known as degrees. First-degree burns usually burn through the first layer of skin. Second-degree burns affect deeper layers of the skin, including the follicles.
Three-degree burns are extremely dangerous type of burns and pose the greatest risk for permanent damage to follicles and hair cells.
Another serious type of skin condition that has potentially irreversible consequences is called Keratosis Pilaris Atrophicans. Keratosis Pilaris Atrophicans is different from the Keratosis Pilaris, or goosebumps, although related. KeratosisPilaris Atrophicans is caused by the pores and follicles being clogged by keratin. This eventually leads to the death of the follicle and a noticeable scar where the hair once grew. KP has many variations including KP alba and KP rubra faceii. KP Alba is identified by rough, dry bumpy skin. KP rubra faceii is identified by a reddish rash on the cheeks. These conditions usually affect children, and medical help is available from those suffering from these symptoms.
Little can be done outside of professional medical treatment to prevent specific skin conditions, hormonal disorders, and medical illnesses that lead to hair loss. Nevertheless, there are things that can be done to keep hair looking its best. A proper diet and a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of hair loss.