Alopecia areata is a condition that causes hair loss that remains unnoticed. This condition leads to hair loss in small patches. In most cases, it causes mild hair loss, but in a few cases, hair loss can be very extreme. The condition can occur in any age group, but mostly occur at the age of 30.
The condition may also lead to total hair loss on your scalp. In some cases, the hair on eyebrows, and eyelashes may also fall off. Even if the hair regrows again, it may fall off again. The severity of the condition differs from one person to another.
How Do I Know If I Have Alopecia Areata?
Patchy hair loss is the most common sign of this condition. For some people, alopecia areata can cause hair loss only on the scalp, whereas for some people it can cause hair loss on the entire body, including beard and eyelashes.
The common signs of alopecia areata are as follows:
- Thinning of hair on top of the head
- Itching or burning sensation in the region before hair loss begins
- Circular or coin-sized patches of hair fall off
- Hair loosening that occurs suddenly
- Hair loss on the entire body
- Patches of scaling on the scalp
If you suspect that you have sudden hair loss which is more than regular hair fall, then consider visiting a doctor to prevent the progression of hair loss.
What Causes Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system pretends healthy cells as invaders and starts attacking them. If you have alopecia areata, the immune system attacks hair follicles that are the base for hair growth. As a result, hair follicles cannot produce hair, leading to hair loss. However, the exact cause of this condition is still unknown.
Research have shown that genetics also play a role in this condition. People who have a family history of autoimmune disorders are likely to have this condition. Some of the scientific evidence shows that stress can also be a reason for alopecia areata.
Diagnosis of Alopecia Areata
The doctor will conduct a physical examination to know your diet, family history, hair loss symptoms, and your hair care regime. The doctor may also conduct other tests such as the following:
- Blood test: This helps to rule out other conditions that cause hair loss. The blood test looks for abnormal antibodies. If those antibodies exist, it indicates an autoimmune disorder.
- Pull test: During this test, the doctor pulls out hair to know the extent of hair that comes out. This helps to know the severity and stage of hair loss.
- Scalp biopsy: During scalp biopsy, a small piece of skin on your scalp will be taken for analysis. It is effective at determining the existence of any infection that can cause hair loss.
Treatment of Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata conditions cannot be cured completely, but can be treated. Hair regrowth can be achieved or hair loss can be slowed down with the treatment. The treatment options include medications and surgery.
If an underlying medical condition is causing hair loss, it is treated through medications. If the doctor suspects that certain medications are causing hair loss, he will suggest to stop using them.
If the hair loss is permanent and regrowth cannot be achieved, hair transplantation or hair restoration surgery is suggested. The surgery involves removing hair from other body parts and then transplanting them into the bald areas.
Need a Doctor to Get Your Hair Loss Treated? Visit IRA Radiance Skin and Hair Clinic Today
IRA Radiance Skin and Hair Clinic have a team of doctors who specialize in different fields such as skin and hair. They can treat different types of hair problems in both men and women. They have served several patients with alopecia areata and provided the right solution for them based on their severity. To get the best treatment, schedule your appointment with one of our doctors.