Alopecia areata is commonly known as hair loss affecting the scalp and causing baldness. The immune system of your body attacks the healthy hair follicles by mistake causing hair loss and decay. This is common in young people but it can occur on adults and children also. Hair loss occurs in one or more patches and it affects women and men equally. No specific treatment is required for alopecia areata since it resolves within few months. Very often, the affected area of baldness will gain hair growth in due course.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. The body’s own immunity attacks hair follicles thus disrupting normal hair growth. Study of affected skin indicates that immune lymphocytes have entered well into the hair follicles causing hair loss. Sometimes this condition results due to allergic disorders like arthritis, lupus, thyroid problem and ulcer. Some believe that this skin disorder runs in families and hence is hereditary.
Patches of hair start falling out from the scalp causing gap on the scalp. In this autoimmune disorder hair loss is not permanent and hair will grow again to break off after few days. For some people the hair becomes very thin and the scalp is not visible like in baldness. It may leave short stubs on the scalp like the shape of exclamatory mark. It will affect one area and leave the other causing uneven growth of hair.
The affected person will have hair growth in few months or within a year. But for 10% of the affected people will not get their hair back. For some people the fingernails and toenails have small pits on them looking like puncture on nails.
Who are at risk?
People with family history of alopecia areata are prone to hair loss. Children who are affected with this disorder in early ages will have less chance for the growth of hair again. People who are suffering from autoimmune disorder like cancer, AIDS and thyroid problem are more prone to this disorder than others.
This is not the usual hair shedding process that occurs in all people when there is hormone imbalance.
By physical examination of your scalp your doctor can diagnose the illness. He would study the pattern of hair growth or he would gently pull few of your hairs for observation.
If there is abnormal hair loss you can choose to wear a wig in the place of original hair. They are made from synthetic hair or human hair well netted into a nylon strip. You can attach the hairpiece into the scalp using tiny clips. Nobody can identify that it is not your original hair.
Your doctor would give you a shot of corticosteroid drug on the scalp for 4-6 weeks continuously so that hair growth regains normal vigor.
Contact immune therapy is another process in which oil like medicine is painted on the scalp. This would cause irritation on the skin making the scalp red and scaly. In few weeks the hair will start growing on the scalp giving good response to the treatment. But there is chance for the lymph nodes on your neck to get swollen and getting skin rash during this therapy.
Some people believe in using hair care products for hair regrowth and thickness of hair. Ultraviolet therapy is also done for curing alopecia areata. This method is the best option for people with huge hair loss. Psoralen is used for preparing the skin to become more sensitive thus responding to UV therapy.
Pictures of Alopecia Areata :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Alopecia Areata
There is no way to prevent alopecia areata if you have inherited it. Stress can increase hair loss and hence you can practice yoga and meditation and eat balanced nutritious diet to avoid hair loss.