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Everything About Alopecia Areata: Cause, Symptoms & Treatment

Alopecia areata is a type of autoimmune disorder in which the person suffers hair loss abnormally. This hair fall takes place in clumps and the amount of this form of hair loss is different in different people. While in some people, this hair fall takes place at only a few spots - in others, this can spread around predominantly in a lot of spots. 

In some cases, the hair grows back, but it grows up later. Alopecia areata is of three types in general. 

  1. Alopecia areata totalis: It is when all the hair on your head is lost.

  2. Alopecia areata Universalis: It is when hair loss takes place on your entire body. 

  3. Ophiasis alopecia areata: It is when hair loss takes place in a band shape at the front and back of your body.

Let's find out more about Alopecia Areata: Symptoms, Cause & Treatment.

Alopecia Areata Symptoms.

In general, the symptoms of Alopecia Areata is hair loss. However, this can occur in different patterns. 

  • Hair Loss in patches on the scalp.

  • Hair Loss on other parts of the body.

  • Hair loss takes place at one spot & grows at another.

  • You lose a lot of hair in a smaller period of time.

  • In cold weather, you lose relatively way more hair.

  • Toenails & fingernails become pitted, brittle & red.

  • The bald patches are smooth with no redness or rash. 

  • You can feel burning, tingling, or itching sensations. 

Alopecia Causes and Risk Factors.

In any type of autoimmune disease, your body gets attacked by your immune system. When someone is suffering from alopecia areata, their hair follicles get attacked by their immune system. There is no explanation as to why Alopecia occurs, but experts say that if someone in your family has the disorder - it is highly likely that you’ll suffer from the condition. 

Here’s when it is more likely that you’ll suffer from Alopecia areata:

  • If you’re asthmatic.

  • If you have someone in the family suffering from the condition.

  • If you’ve seasonal allergies.

  • If you are suffering from Vitiligo.

  • If you are suffering from thyroid.

  • If you have Down Syndrome.

  • If you’ve Pernicious anemia.

Approximately 6.8 million people in the United States are suffering from this disorder. In some people, this condition can lead to complete hair loss (alopecia totalis) while in other cases, it could lead to loss of hair in the entire body called alopecia Universalis. Alopecia can occur in people of any age, but in most cases, Alopecia will occur in people who fall under the age of 30. 

Alopecia is an autoimmune condition. This means due to some unknown causes, the immune system that usually defends the body from foreign invaders, begins to attack the healthy cells of the body. When someone suffers from alopecia, the immune system starts attacking the hair follicles of the body. 

With such a condition, over the period of time, these hair follicles become smaller leading to no production of hair causing hair loss. Ex[erts have established that Alopecia most often occurs in people who have a family history of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis & type 1 diabetes. 

Alopecia Treatment.

There is no specific treatment for alopecia Areata. However, there are simple treatments that could be used to slow down hair loss or help in making the regrow the hair. 

In the case of Alopecia, it is hard to predict which treatment works well for you. In fact, this will need a lot of trial & error to understand the treatment that actually fits and prevents further loss of hair. 

Depending on person-to-person following treatments can work:

  • Local steroid injections.

  • Shampoos, lotions & Steroid creams.

  • Oral-systemic steroids.

  • Topical sensitizers.

  • Woking to manage emotional stress.

The earlier, you’ll start working on the alopecia, the more successfully it can be managed. Other than this, there are other medical treatments available for the same including Topical immunotherapy, oral treatments, light therapy & more. 

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