What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is a situation that causes hair to fall out in small patches, which can be perceptible. However, these patches may attach and then become perceptible. The condition may build when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
Sudden hair loss may happen on the scalp. Also, this problem may build slowly and recur after years between instances. However, the situation can result in total hair loss, known as alopecia Universalis, which can stop hair from growing back. When hair does increase back, the hair can fall out again. The expanse of hair fall and regrowth varies from person to person. Currently, there is no treatment cure for alopecia areata. However, some treatments may help hair grow back more quickly, which can stop future hair loss and unique ways to cover up the hair loss. Also, resources are available to support people cope with stress related to hair falls.
Causes of Alopecia Areata
Usually, the immune system protects your body against foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria. However, it is an autoimmune condition. This condition may develop when the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign elements.
Hair follicles are the formats from which hairs grow. However, the hair follicles become smaller and removed, producing hair, leading to hair loss. However, if you have alopecia areata, your immune system mistakenly strikes your hair follicles. However, it most often may occur in people with a family history of other autoimmune situations, like type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. This is why few scientists feel that genetics may donate to the development of alopecia areata. Also, they believe that certain environmental factors are required to trigger alopecia areata in people.
Symptoms of Alopecia Areata
The most common symptom of alopecia areata is hair fall. Usually, hair losses out in small patches on the scalp. These patches are often many centimeters or less. Hair fall might also occur on the other parts of the face, such as the eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard, as well as other parts of the body. Some people fall hair in a few sites. Others lose it in a lot of places. Firstly, you may recognize clumps of hair on your pillow or in the shower. If these sites are on the back of your head, someone may lead them to your attention. However, hair loss alone is not used to diagnose alopecia areata. However, other health issues can also cause hair to lose in a similar pattern.
In rare cases, some people may feel more extensive hair fall. Usually, this is an indication of another type of alopecia, including:-
- Alopecia totalis, which is the fall of hair on the scalp
- Alopecia Universalis, which is the fall of hair on the whole body
Health consultants might avoid using the terms “total” and “Universalis” because some people may feel something between the two. It is possible to fall all hair on the arms, legs, and scalp, but not on the chest. As far as consultants and researchers can tell, the hair fall associated with alopecia areata is unpredictable and appears spontaneous. However, the hair may increase back at any time and fall out again. The extent of hair fall and regrowth varies significantly from person to person.
There is no familiar cure for alopecia areata, but there are some treatments that you can try that might slow down future hair fall or support hair growth back more quickly. The condition is challenging to forecast, so it may need a lot of trial and error until you find something that works for you. For some people, hair fall may still get worse, even with treatment.
Medical treatments Of Alopecia Areata
You can rub some medications into your scalp to support and stimulate hair growth. Several remedies are available, both over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription:-
- Minoxidil is available OTC and tried twice daily on the scalp, eyebrows, and beard. It is a safe medication, but it can take years to see the outcome.
- Anthralin is a drug that irritates the skin to spur hair regrowth.
- Corticosteroid creams like clobetasol, foams, lotions, and ointments reduce inflammation in the hair follicle.
Steroid injections are a familiar option for mild, patchy alopecia to support hair growing back on bald spots. With the help of tiny needles, inject the steroid into the bare skin of the affected sites. This method must be repeated every one to two months to regrow hair.
Cortisone tablets are mainly used for extensive alopecia. But due to the possibility of side effects, you should discuss this option with a healthcare provider. Some oral immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate and cyclosporine, are another treatment option you can try. This option work by blocking the immune system’s response. But it can’t be taken for an extended period due to the risk of side effects, like high blood pressure and liver and kidney damage.