a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually the scalp.
is non-communicable and occurs more frequently in people who have affected family members, suggesting that heredity may play a factor.
thought to be an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks it’s own hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth.
there is evidence that T type lymphocytes cluster around these follicles causing inflammation and the subsequent hair loss.
an unknown environmental trigger such as emotional stress or a pathogen is thought to combine with hereditary factors to cause this condition.
ALOPECIA AREATA MONOCULARIS : baldness in only one spot that may occur anywhere on the head.
ALOPECIA AREATA MULLTILOCULAR : refers to multiple area of hair loss.
ALOPECIA AREATA BARBAE : baldness limited to the beard.
ALOPECIA AREATA TOTALIS : patient suffers hair loss over the entire scalp.
ALOPECIA AREATA UNIVERSALIS : patient loses all of the body hair, including the pubic area.
Alopecia is treated with CORTICOSTERIODS (powerful anti-inflammatory drug) in three ways:
Local injections: corticosteriods are injected directly into the hairless patches on the scalp.
Oral corticosteriods: taken by mouth to those who suffer with more extensive alopecia areata.
Topical ointments: corticosteriod containing ointments and creams are rubbed directly into the affected areas.
Patients being treated with the above drugs are warned of their serious side effects and reminded that although they may promote hair growth, none of them prevent new patches of hair loss or actually cure the underlying disease.
o observe the progression of the illness as the problem often spontaneously regresses and the hair returns. In 90% of cases, the hair will, ultimately, grow back. In the other 10%, only some or no hair will regrow.
Alopecia is not a painful disease and does not make those afflicted feel sick, physically. It is not contagious, and people who have the disease are generally healthy otherwise. It does not reduce life expectancy and it should not interfere with the ability to achieve such life goals as going to school, working, marrying, raising a family, playing sports and exercising.
The emotional aspects of living with hair loss, however, can be challenging. Most people cope by learning as much as they can about the disease; speaking with others who are facing the same problem; and, if necessary, seeking counseling to help build a positive self-image.
Many alopecia patients come to embrace their hair loss and find it to be a celebration, of sorts. Some patients become so comfortable that they refer to the baldness as “FREEDOM”!!!