What is alopecia areata?
Every person has seen hair loss in lots of people and almost every person fears it may happen to him or her. In most cases of alopecia areata, it is the scalp that is affected by this condition. However, in some cases other parts of the body are affected as well. The process of hair loss is a rapid one and an interesting thing is that one side of the head is more involved than the other. Even though it is the men who are more affected by it, women can suffer from it as well. However, people should know that this condition is not the same as male-pattern baldness. Male-pattern baldness is an inherited condition.
According to the newest researches, experts have discovered that it is an abnormality in the immune system that causes alopecia areata. That abnormality leads to autoimmunity and then the immune system will attack certain tissues in the body. In this case, the immune system will attack the hair follicles and that will disrupt normal hair formation. In some cases, alopecia areata is connected with some other autoimmune conditions like allergic disorders, vitiligo, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The different patterns of alopecia areata
In most cases, the pattern is the same and it is either one or several spots of hair loss on the scalp. Alopecia totalis is a condition when all of the hair on the scalp is lost. Alopecia universalis occurs very rarely and it is a condition when all the hair on the body is lost.
Who is affected by this condition?
It is more likely that the sufferers of alopecia areata are children, teens and young adults. However, it is not uncommon for the older people to be affected by it as well. In some rare cases, even the toddlers can be affected by it. People should know that this condition is not contagious.
How is it diagnosed?
The exclamation of point hair is the common characteristic finding of this condition. A lens is needed for the people to see that these hairs are short, broken off hairs narrower closer to the scalp.
50% of all patients will experience hair re-growth after just 12 months and without any treatments. However, there are treatments available like steroid injections, creams and shampoos for the scalp. There are even some medications that should help in this case. Some patients were even able to re-grow hair with aromatherapy essential oils.