28 Jan Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicles resulting in hair loss, thinning or baldness anywhere on the body. It is rare for all the hair to fall out and with treatment, will grow back. Sometimes hair will fall out again but there are cases where hair has grown back for good.
There is no cure, but the condition can be treated. Some treatments include:
- Topical immunotherapy
- Medications used to treat autoimmune disorders
- Steroid Injections
- Laser therapy
- Acupuncture and other new age treatments (massage, aromatherapy)
- Ayurvedic Therapy
Hair is made up of keratin, a protein produced in hair follicles. The hair is comprised of dead keratinized cells that have been pushed out of the follicles. A normal amount of hair thinning is expected, but when hair comes out in clumps and large amounts investigation may be necessary.
There are a variety of causes in both men and women such as:
- Male pattern hair loss
- Female pattern hair loss
- Strong sunlight
- Autoimmune disease
- Vitamin D deficiency
The symptoms experienced include:
- Clumps of hair come out
- Excessive thinning
- Unexplained hair loss on the body
- Tearing or pulling out your hair
- Incomplete loss of hair on head and/or eyebrows
Diagnosis begins with your primary medical doctor. The doctor will take a personal and family history, review symptoms, and evaluate hair under a microscope, and may order blood work to rule out other potential causes of the hair loss. He may also run a scalp biopsy to rule out a fungal infection, ringworm, or other infection.
Complications are mostly psychological. It is advised that before beginning treatment you seek counseling or talk therapy. Psychological implications are as follows:
- Low self-esteem
- Thyroid disease, diabetes, or vitiligo (these conditions are linked to the immune system)
Other options that can be considered on a personal level include:
- Wearing hats or wigs
- Reduce stress
- Attend support group
Alopecia Areata is not a serious condition but it can cause anxiety and bad feelings.
The best bet when treating alopecia is by treating existing conditions within the body. A nutritious diet, vitamin supplements, healthy lifestyle, addressing health issues, and decreasing stress, can ensure regrowth, revitalization, balance, and repair in future hair growth.