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As testosterone levels drop you’re at risk for developing hypogonadism—a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough testosterone 2. According to the Mayo Clinic, loss of body hair—including ankles, feet, legs, chest, or back, erectile dysfunction, and loss of interest in sex are signs of low testosterone levels 12.cause:
- According to the Mayo Clinic
- loss of body hair—including ankles
- or back
- erectile dysfunction,
- loss of interest in sex are signs of low testosterone levels 12
If the only symptom you have is losing hair on your ankles, there’s probably a simpler reason. But if you are losing hair all over your body, and have noticed a difference in your sex drive, talk with your doctor about having your testosterone levels checked.
Hair grows from a follicle under your skin. Poor circulation can interfere with your hair follicles' normal operation. Ankle hairs eventually die and fall out but a new hair should begin growing in the same follicle; you normally don’t notice this normal hair growth process. Hair follicles receive nutrients from your bloodstream—poor blood flow can inhibit follicle function and hair growth.
Poor circulation to your ankles can be a normal part of aging, or a sign of a more serious condition. As you age you will notice less hair on your feet and ankles. Poor circulation can be a sign of a heart condition, blocked arteries, or diabetes. If you are losing hair and experiencing tingling, numbness, redness, or swelling--in your feet or ankles--talk to your doctor.
Poor circulation in your ankles could also be caused by shoes, socks, pants with elastic around the ankles'—sweat pants, or tight pants--leggings. Did you get new socks before noticing the hair loss, new shoes? Think about any changes, even changes in your job or activities. Are you on your feet for long periods of time? Lifestyle changes could be affecting your circulation.
- Hair grows from a follicle under your skin.
- Ankle hairs eventually die and fall out but a new hair should begin growing in the same follicle; you normally don’t notice this normal hair growth process.
Why Is the Hair on My Legs Falling Out?
Activities you’ve done for most of your life could eventually cause ankle hair to disappear. If you have worn high top shoes, like hiking boots or athletic shoes—for many years—the combination of friction and decreased circulation to your ankles could eventually cause hair growth to cease.
Lack of activity can also cause decreased circulation. Take a 30 minute walk 5 days a week; but make sure to wear loose socks and comfortable low-top walking shoes.
- Activities you’ve done for most of your life could eventually cause ankle hair to disappear.
- If you have worn high top shoes, like hiking boots or athletic shoes—for many years—the combination of friction and decreased circulation to your ankles could eventually cause hair growth to cease.
Stimulating Hair Growth
If you are in good health and have no other symptoms loss of ankle hair shouldn't be cause for worry. If you’re missing your ankle hair, try these things at home to stimulate hair growth. Put your feet up; when you’re sitting at home elevate your feet—above your heart—to increase circulation to your feet and ankles. Enlist someone to massage your ankles while your feet are elevated—massage increases circulation. Wear knee high socks if you have to wear socks, and avoid high top shoes for a month. Wear looser pants and avoid sweat pants or sport leggings for a month.
- If you are in good health and have no other symptoms loss of ankle hair shouldn't be cause for worry.
- Wear knee high socks if you have to wear socks, and avoid high top shoes for a month.
Why Is the Hair on My Legs Falling Out?
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How to Improve Circulation With Socks
- Mayo Clinic: Loss of body hair
- Mayo Clinic: Hypogonadism
- Phillips TG, Slomiany WP, Allison R. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(6):371-378.
- Watras MM, Patel JP, Arya R. Traditional anticoagulants and hair loss: a role for direct oral anticoagulants? A review of the literature. Drugs Real World Outcomes. 2016;3(1):1-6. doi:10.1007/s40801-015-0056-z
- Urysiak-czubatka I, Kmieć ML, Broniarczyk-dyła G. Assessment of the usefulness of dihydrotestosterone in the diagnostics of patients with androgenetic alopecia. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2014;31(4):207-15. doi:10.5114/pdia.2014.40925
- Vincent M, Yogiraj K. A descriptive study of alopecia patterns and their relation to thyroid dysfunction. Int J Trichology. 2013;5(1):57-60. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.114701
- Peters EMJ, Müller Y, Snaga W, et al. Hair and stress: A pilot study of hair and cytokine balance alteration in healthy young women under major exam stress. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(4):e0175904. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175904
- Pratt CH, King LE, Messenger AG, Christiano AM, Sundberg JP. Alopecia areata. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2017;3:17011. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2017.11
- American Academy of Dermatology. Alopecia Areata: Overview.
In the hot desert of Arizona, Nadia Benavidez has been studying hearing instrument science since 2002. After leaving a clinical practice, Benavidez has put her talent to work writing informative articles related to health and wellness. Currently Benavidez is working on her first book.