Hair loss is everyone’s nightmare!
We are ready to go to any length to prevent hair loss. But, do you know there are some conditions that cause hair to fall in big patches. In the majority of cases, it is alopecia areata which affects 6.8 million every year.
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair to come out in big patches, size, and the shape of a quarter. The amount of hair loss varies from person to person; some lose it in small bunches while others lose out on some big quarters.
This disorder develops when the immune system attacks hair follicles that result in hair loss. Hair loss due to alopecia is not restricted to the hair of your scalp; in some cases, the affected individuals lose eyebrows, eyelashes, facial hair, and some other parts of the body.
The condition can affect any gender or age. However, in most cases, it occurs before one approaches 30. A type of alopecia can also cause complete hair loss known as alopecia universalis. In this condition, hair of the body never grows back, or even if they grow back, there are chances of them falling out again.
Causes of Alopecia Areata
Many people with a family history may develop this condition. Also, when you have an autoimmune abnormality, it impacts the immune system of your body and, for some unknown reasons, it attacks specific tissues of the body which causes your hair to fall out. Ultimately, the abnormality disrupts the normal process of hair formation.
Research has shown that, apart from the family history of alopecia areata, another major cause of developing the disorder is the personal and family history of other autoimmune diseases such as vitiligo, hyperallergic, and thyroiditis. Additionally, some research revealed that the extreme case of stress could trigger alopecia areata.
Symptoms of Alopecia Areata
As stated above, the main symptom is hair loss in big or small patches. In some cases, one may experience an extensive hair loss which indicates different types of alopecia known as:
- Alopecia totalis (loss of all hair on the scalp)
- Alopecia universalis (loss of all hair on the body)
Treatment for Alopecia Areata
- Steroid injections are one of the common treatments for this condition. They help in the growth of small bald spots. For this purpose, tiny needles of steroids are injected into the skin of the affected region of the body. This treatment works better when it is repeated every one or two months which allows the hair to grow and prevent hair loss.
- There are oral treatments doctors prescribe for the condition which help block the immune system’s response but such treatments are not the long-term solution as they have side effects such as high blood pressure, serious infections, kidney, and liver damage.
- If you want to opt for natural remedies for alopecia, you may use rosemary, tea tree, peppermint, or coconut oil, or any herbal method such as green tea, ginseng, and more.
- Some doctors also prescribe medicines such as Finset and Genesis that help in the regrowth of hair on the bald patches. They must always be consumed upon medical guidance.
In a Nutshell
Alopecia areata does not pose any threat to physical health; however, the loss of hair may impact the emotional wellbeing of a person. Therefore, new treatments are introduced—such as support groups and clinical trials—to help people overcome the loss of hair.