Medical Definition of Baldness

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/4/2018

Baldness: Medically known as alopecia. There are many types of baldness, each with a different cause. Baldness may be localized to the front and top of the head, as in the very common type of male-pattern baldness; baldness may be patchy, a condition called alopecia areata; or a variant of alopecia areata may involve the entire head: alopecia capitis totalis. The word "alopecia" comes from the Greek "alopex" for "fox." 

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018