Many people experience hair loss as a result of ageing or stressful life events, but few of these people fully understand the reasons behind the hair loss. Losing hair on the scalp is a normal sign of ageing, however, hair loss on other part of the body such as the legs is not as common and may indicate underlying health issues.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
One cause of leg hair loss is peripheral vascular disease. According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, peripheral vascular disease is a disorder that causes a loss in blood circulation that reduces blood flow to the brain, heart and legs. It is caused by the narrowing of the vessels that carry blood to and from the muscles in the arms and legs, and may be a result of plaque build-up or blood clots. While leg hair loss is a symptom of PVD, other symptoms include deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins and chronic veinous insufficiency.
Alopecia universals is a less common form of alopecia areata that causes a total loss of scalp and body hair. This condition is caused by an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks hair follicles. Symptoms include patchy bald spots on the scalp and on other areas of the body, such as the legs and arms. Many people with this condition also suffer from thyroid disorders, allergies or lupus.
Medications such as steroids and chemotherapy can lead to a loss of hair on the legs and body. When a patient undergoes chemotherapy, the loss of hair is upsetting but is a normal symptom of the treatment. The use of steroids for long periods of time, especially when an individual is using this method to build muscle mass, can lead to the loss of hair on the arms and legs.