Alopecia Areata : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What is Alopecia Areata?
It’s an autoimmune disease that causes the body to form antibodies system attacks against some hair follicles, causing loss of hair on the scalp, face and other parts of the body. Alopecia Areata is often called as spot baldness. It can occur at any age and effects around 1% of the population, most commonly children. Some people develop only a few bare patches that regrow hair within a year. In others, extensive patchy loss occurs, and in few, all the scalp hair is lost – referred as alopecia totalis or hair is lost from the entire scalp and body – referred as alopecia universalis. The scalp is the most affected area also the beard or any hair site can be affected alone or together with the scalp. However, it’s not life threatening, but can be psychologically traumatic.
Parts of the Body Affected by Alopecia Areata?
In some people, the nails develop stippling that looks as if a pin had made rows of tiny dents in other cases the nails are severely distorted. However, other than the hair loss and occasionally the nails, there are no other parts of the body that are affected by Alopecia Areata.
What Causes Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia Areata occurs because the affected person’s immune system does not recognise the hair follicles as self and regards them as foreign. This response causes the immune system the loss of hair. There is no permanent damage to the hair follicles and once the immune system start tolerance the follicle correctly the hair can regrow. People of all ages and races can get infected with alopecia areata, but most commonly found in children.
A person with alopecia areata is more likely to have diseases such as thyroid, diabetes and vitiligo. There is no particular reason what triggers an attack of alopecia areata. However, we must be aware that alopecia areata is not due to diet or vitamin deficiencies.
Symptoms of Alopecia Areata?
There are no particular symptoms of Alopecia Areata other than hair loss and balding. Usually, you may feel a tingling in your scalp in the affected areas.
Can Alopecia Areata be treated?
Alopecia Areata cannot be cured. Treatments are available that can help your hair regrow, but there is no permanent treatment that can or will prevent Alopecia Areata. There are several available treatments but the choice of treatment depends mainly on a person’s age and the extent of the hair loss. If your hair loss is patchy, there are good chances about 75% that you will get complete regrowth with a year without any treatment. However, if you have a large part then the chances of it regrowing may be enough. There are people with little early alopecia areata may need no treatment, as their hair is likely to regrow back again, without treatment. However, some treatments includes hair growth, thought none is eligible to alter or change the overall course of the disease. Alopecia Areata has no direct impact on the general health of a person.