What is Alopecia Areata? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods.

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, and it 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, and that can stop future hair loss, as well as unique ways to cover up the hair loss. Also, resources are available to support people cope with stress related to hair fall.

Causes of Alopecia Areata

However, it is an autoimmune condition. This condition may develop when the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign elements. Normally, the immune system protects your body against foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria.

However, if you have alopecia areata, your immune system mistakenly strikes your hair follicles. Hair follicles are the formats from which hairs grow. However, the hair follicles become smaller and remove producing hair, leading to hair loss.

However, it most often may occur in people who have 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 factors in the environment 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 sites.

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, other health issues can also cause hair to lose in a similar pattern. However, hair loss alone is not used to diagnose alopecia areata.

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 fall of hair on the whole body

Health consultants might avoid using the terms “totalis” 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, for instance.

The hair fall associated with alopecia areata is unpredictable and, as far as consultants and researchers can tell, appears to be spontaneous. However, the hair may increase back at any time and then may fall out again. The extent of hair fall and regrowth varies greatly from person to person.


There is no familiar cure for alopecia areata, but there are some treatments that you can try that might be able to slow down future hair fall or support hair growth back more quickly.

The condition is difficult to forecast, which means it may need a  large amount 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

Topical agents

You can rub some medications into your scalp to support stimulate hair growth. Several medications are available, both over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription:-

  • Minoxidil is available OTC and tried twice daily on the scalp, eyebrows, and beard. Relatively, it is a safe medication, but it can take a year to see the outcome.
  • Anthralin is a medication drug that irritates the skin to spur hair regrowth.
  • Corticosteroid creams like clobetasol, foams, lotions, and ointments are thought to work by reducing inflammation in the hair follicle.


Steroid injections are a familiar option for mild, patchy alopecia to support hair grow back on bald spots. With the help of tiny needles, inject the steroid into the bare skin of the affected sites. This method has to be repeated every one to two months to regrow hair.

Oral treatments

Cortisone tablets are mostly 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 a long period of time due to the risk of side effects, like high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage.