Understanding Alopecia Areata ( Hair Loss)

Your hair loss might be due to a common autoimmune skin disease, here is what you should know about diagnosing and treating Alopecia areata.

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and some time on other areas of the body. Alopecia Areata affects an estimated 6.8 million people in the U.S.The disease does not discriminate and affects people of all ages, both sexes, and all ethnic groups.

 

In most cases, Alopecia areata appears during childhood, but the onset varies for everyone who has it. This type of hair loss presents itself as patchy hair loss on the scalp and is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s own immune system to attack healthy hair follicles. Although the exact cause of the condition is unknown, it is widely believed that to be triggered by stress and traumatic events. In this article, we will explore a few interesting and common facts surrounding Alopecia areata.

 

Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis

In some cases, many people will only have a few bare patches, while others, hair loss can progress to the entire scalp. This is known as Alopecia Totalis. At the most extreme case of this disorder, the hair loss can occur across the entire body, including eyebrows. The type of Alopecia that is responsible for this type of hair loss is called Alopecia Universalis.

 



Who Is At Risk For Alopecia Areata?

 

Alopecia Areata affects men, women and even children. Many people with this disease will notice well-defined circular bald patches on the scalp. Unfortunately, for some, the hair loss can be extensive. It’s believed that the lifetime risk for AA is nearly 2% or two in every 100 people will get AA at some point in their lives. Alopecia Areata is not contagious, you can’t catch this anyone who has it.

 

What are the signs of Alopecia Areata?

Hair loss can be sudden or develop in a matter of a few days and it may happen anywhere on the scalp. AA appears as well-defined circular bald patches on the scalp, many people tend to notice one or two patches.

 

The patches are usually smooth bald skin, unlike other autoimmune diseases. The hair follicles are not completely destroyed and can re-grow inflammation subsides. Research shows that people with just one or two patches often experience full and spontaneous recovery within 2 years regardless of whether they received treatment or not.

 

What are the Causes of Alopecia Areata?

 

Traditionally Alopecia Areata has been viewed as a stress-induced disease. However, some researchers that believe that there is a wide range of factors that may contribute to developing the AA. It is safe to say that most experts believe that genetics is a key component in the likelihood of developing Alopecia Areata.

 

How Do Dermatologist diagnose Alopecia areata?

In some cases, a dermatologist can diagnose alopecia areata by examining the hair loss.

However, if the patch of hair loss is expanding, the physician extracts a few hairs. These hairs are analyzed under a microscope. A dermatologist may also perform a skin biopsy to confirm whether or not the disease is alopecia areata. Your physician may suggest conducting blood tests if they think the patient might have another autoimmune disease.

 

How do dermatologists treat alopecia areata?

At the time of writing this, there is no cure for alopecia areata. However, treatment can help the hair re-grow more quickly. A dermatologist may prescribe the following to help the hair re-grow more quickly:

 

  • Corticosteroids
  • Minoxidil
  • Anthralin
  • Diphencyprone ( DPCP)

 

Researchers are exploring other alternatives and medicines that work on the individual’s immune system. In addition to lasers and other light-based therapies. The first step in seeking treatment is to identify the type of hair loss you are suffering from and get started with re-growing your hair. If you have alopecia areata and would like to explore Virtual Reality or WVirtuésse non-surgical hair replacement systems, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our image consultants.

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