Alopecia Areata - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Alopecia areata is a highly unpredictable skin disease in which hair loss from areas of the body, usually from the scalp happens. This common but very challenging and capricious disease affects approximately 1.7 percent of the population overall. Nearly 2% of the U.S. population (about 4 million people) will develop AA in their lifetime. The immune system, for unknown reasons, attacks the hair root and causes hair loss.
In most of cases this problem does not exceed much. A small amount of hair falls in small round patches about the size of a quarter. In lots of cases this problem does not exceed beyond a few bare patches. But in some cases, hair loss is more extensive. Sometimes the disease can increase to make the head bold. Not only the hair loss of head occurs but hairs of whole body are loosed. Alopecia areata can occur at any age, including in childhood.
Alopecia Areata Causes
- It is thought that Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly treats its hair follicles as foreign agent and stop growing it.
- Heredity may also be one reason. There are a few recorded cases of babies being born with congenital alopecia areata.
- Alopecia areata is sometimes associated with other autoimmune conditions such as allergic disorders, thyroid disease, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.
- In alopecia areata, immune system cells called white blood cells attack the rapidly growing cells in the hair follicles that make the hair. The affected hair follicles become small and drastically slow down hair production
Alopecia Areata Symptoms
- The primary and important symptom of alopecia areate is hair loss on the head in round patches with smooth, hairless scalp in the affected areas. A fractional or total loss of scalp hair occurs in this.
- With loss of scalp hair the patient may loss whole body hair. The condition becomes more critical as whole body hair starts loosing.
- Alopecia areata includes 3 symptoms listed below mainly
- Hair loss
- Bald patches
Alopecia Areata Treatment
- Either there is hair loss or baldness there is no specific cure for it.
- The effectiveness of medications used to treat alopecia depends on the cause of hair loss, extent of the loss and individual response. Usually, treatment is less effective for more extensive cases of hair loss.
- There are some medicine or drugs are also available which make the hair loss to stop. Minoxidil is a liquid that after rubbing into your scalp twice daily can regrow hair and can prevent further hair loss.
- There are also some surgeries available to cure this problem. Hair transplantation and scalp reduction surgery are available to treat androgenetic alopecia when more conservative measures have failed.
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