February 13, 2013

All About Alopecia Areata

To hit the ground running, Alopecia Areata is a skin condition which can pretty much affect any area of your body where hair grows. In most cases, the condition manifests itself by a non-scarring loss of hair in a localized area, with it not being associated to any medical problems one may experience.

Even though the areas that go bald tend to regrow their hair quite spontaneously from time to time, rest assured that the condition is still present and will act up again.

In most cases, Alopecia Areata affects the scalp area, and in some cases it can even cause permanent hair loss if treatment isn’t sought. For some people, it’s more of a seasonal affair. It tends to affect adults between 30 and 60 years of age, although certain exceptions have been noted.

Alopecia Areata Causes

So what precisely causes this condition? Well, it was determined that in most cases it originates from what is referred to as an abnormality in the immune system as it starts to attack the body’s hair follicles, destroying them and preventing more hair from forming.

It is typically unknown why the body chooses to attack itself to hair follicles. In some cases, Alopecia Areata can be associated with other disorders, including thyroid disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and vitiligo. In some cases it was determined that Alopecia Areata is transmitted genetically. Regardless of what causes it, the effects of the condition itself generally remain the same.

The Alopecia Areata Varieties

Unfortunately this condition does come in more than one variety,
  • First one being the one discussed above, where your suffer from spots of hair loss on your scalp.
  • The other form of the condition is one where instead of suffering from localized hair loss, your hair in general becomes thinner and more fragile.
  • There is even a third, rarer form, alopecia totalis, where all of the scalp hair is lost.
  • Finally, there is the rarest form, alopecia universalis, according to which hair loss occurs on the entire body.
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Alopecia Areata Treatment

The good news is that there are numerous treatments available for this condition, and the one you are going to go with will depend on how long you have been suffering from Alopecia Areata, and what variety of it you were afflicted with.

The treatment methods include the use of various creams and shampoos that stimulate hair growth on the scalp (many have undergone scientific testing and were proven to be effective), steroid injections to stimulate hair growth, and more.

All in all, it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor on what treatment method is best for you. If the doctor points you to one of the more expensive ones, do get a second opinion seeing as how unfortunately, medicine is becoming more of a business than humane service for some.

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