Facial hair as a health clue
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
You’ve probably thought a lot about what your beard conveys about your personality (and if not, here’s a handy explainer from an actual beard scholar that will tell you exactly what it says), but have you ever thought about what it says about your health? Turns out, your beard is crying out to be heard. Here, Joel Schlessinger, MD, a Nebraska-based board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf advisor, and Paul Salter, RD, and nutrition editor at bodybuilding.com, explain what your beard is trying to tell you.
If your beard is: Falling out in small, round patches
You may have alopecia barbae, an autoimmune disorder that causes your body to start viewing your hair follicles as “intruders” and attack them until hair stops growing, Dr. Schlessinger explains. The good news is that it’s not contagious or dangerous in any way. The bad news is that it can cause irritation, burning, and inflammation. While there’s no real cure, it is treatable. Dr. Schlessinger says that minoxidil (Rogaine), has been shown to treat alopecia barbae; however, it’s not currently FDA-approved for use on the face, so talk to your doctor before starting any kind of treatment. Additionally, if you notice that your facial hair loss is accompanied by hair loss on your scalp, fatigue, weight gain or loss, or changes in your sleeping habits, mood, energy level, or digestion, see your doctor immediately, as it’s possible that you could have a thyroid disorder, lupus, or diabetes. Check out these surprising facts you never knew about mustaches.