What is Alopecia Areata?
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness, is an autoimmune disease in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body. Usually the hair loss occurs from the scalp due to the body’s failure to recognize its own body cells and subsequent destruction of its own tissue as if it were an invader.
Often it causes bald spots on the scalp, especially in the first stages. In 1–2% of cases, the condition can spread to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or to the entire epidermis (alopecia universalis). Conditions resembling alopecia areata, and having a similar cause, occur also in other species, not only human beings.
There are two types of alopecia areata:
- scarring alopecia, where there is fibrosis, inflammation, and loss of hair follicles, and
- nonscarring alopecia, where the hair shafts are gone but the hair follicles are preserved, making this type of alopecia reversible.
Commonly, alopecia areata involves hair loss in one or more round spots on the scalp.
- Hair may also be lost more diffusely over the whole scalp, in which case the condition is called diffuse alopecia areata.
- Alopecia areata monolocularis describes baldness in only one spot. It may occur anywhere on the head.
- Alopecia areata multilocularis refers to multiple areas of hair loss.
- Ophiasis refers to hair loss in the shape of a wave at the circumference of the head.
- The disease may be limited only to the beard, in which case it is called alopecia areata barbae.
- If the patient loses all the hair on the scalp, the disease is then called alopecia totalis.
- If all body hair, including pubic hair, is lost, the diagnosis then becomes alopecia universalis.
Alopecia areata totalis and universalis are very rare.
Signs and symptoms
Typical first symptoms of alopecia areata are small bald patches. The underlying skin is unscarred and looks superficially normal. These patches can take many shapes, but are most usually round or oval. Alopecia areata most often affects the scalp and beard, but may occur on any part of the body with hair. Different areas of the skin may exhibit hair loss and regrowth at the same time. The disease may also go into remission for a time, or may be permanent. It is common in children.
The area of hair loss may tingle or be painful. The hair tends to fall out over a short period of time, with the loss commonly occurring more on one side of the scalp than the other.
When healthy hair is pulled out, at most a few should come out. Ripped hair should not be distributed evenly across the tugged portion of the scalp. In cases of alopecia areata, hair will tend to pull out more easily along the edge of the patch where the follicles are already being attacked by the body’s immune system than away from the patch where they are still healthy.
Alopecia areata is thought to be a systemic autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own anagen hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth.
Alopecia areata is not contagious. It occurs more frequently in people who have affected family members, suggesting heredity may be a factor. Strong evidence of genetic association with increased risk for alopecia areata was found by studying families with two or more affected members. This study identified at least four regions in the genome that are likely to contain these genes. In addition, it is slightly more likely to occur in people who have relatives with autoimmune diseases.
Treatment with Hair Growth Activation and Ecuri Anti Hair Loss Lotion
If the affected region is small, it is reasonable to only observe the progression of the illness, as the problem often spontaneously regresses and the hair may grow back. In most cases which begin with a small number of patches of hair loss, hair grows back after a few months to a year.
These photographs were taken during the treatment of Alopecia Areata in 16 year old girl. The whole treatment took 3 sessions to achieve the results shown on the last picture.
The client was treated by the Hair Growth Activation mix and the Ecuri Anti Hair Loss Lotion during three month. The new hair growth started to show within several weeks after the first treatment with the Hair Growth Activator.
There is no loss of body function, and effects of alopecial areata are mainly psychological (loss of self-image due to hair loss), although these can be severe. Loss of hair also means the scalp burns more easily in the sun.
Hair may grow back and then fall out again later. This may not indicate a recurrence of the condition, but rather a natural cycle of growth-and-shedding from a relatively synchronised start; such a pattern will fade over time. Episodes of alopecia areata before puberty predispose to chronic recurrence of the condition.
Alopecia can be the cause of psychological stress. Because hair loss can lead to significant changes in appearance, individuals with it may experience social phobia, anxiety, and depression.
And if you’d like to share your experiences with us, leave a comment below.