Alopecia is a disease that causes hair loss in the form of small patches. It develops and causes hair losses when the immune system attacks hair follicles. Sudden hair loss may occur in the scalp and other parts of the body. Such situation rarely causes to total hair loss or alopecia universalise; however, it may prevent hair from growing. When hair grows, it is possible for hair to be lost again. The degree of hair loss and re-growth varies from person to person. At present, there is no treatment for alopecia. However, there are treatments that help the hair to grow faster and thus prevent future hair loss. There are also resources to help people to deal with the disease. Alopecia is an acquired skin disease characterized by a localized zone of hair loss that can affect the scalp and leave no scar. Alopecia areata is sometimes associated with any other external or internal medical problems. Alopecia is rarely observed before 3 years of age.

What is the Reason of Alopecia?

Current evidences indicate that an alopecia problem is caused by an abnormality in the immune system. Such specific abnormality leads to autoimmunity, i.e. a misdirected immune system that tends to attack its own body. As a result, the immune system attacks certain tissues of the body. In respect of Alopecia areata, the own immune system of the body attacks hair follicles for unknown reasons, and it disrupts normal hair growth. The skin biopsies affected develops the immune lymphocytes that penetrate hair absorption of hair follicles. Alopecia areata is sometimes associated with any other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Diagnosis or treatment of such diseases is unlikely to affect the process and course of alopecia areata. Sometimes, alopecia areata occurs in family members making think the role of the genes.

What are the Different Forms of Alepecia?

The most common pattern is one or more well-defined stains of hair loss on the scalp. There is a common hair loss pattern, which is also known as commonly blurred hair loss in hair. Sometimes, the hair of the scalp completely disappears, and such situation is called as alopecia totalis. More rarely, disappearance of all the body feathers, called as alopecia universalis, occurs.

Who is Affected by Alopecia Disease?

Alopecia occurs most frequently in adults aged 30 to 60 years. However, it can also affect older individuals, and rarely young children. Alopecia areata is not contagious. It should be distinguished from hair loss, which may occur following cessation of hormonal estrogen and progesterone treatments during the birth control, or hair loss associated with the end of pregnancy. There are some treatable conditions that can be confused with alopecia areata.

How is Alopecia Diagnosed?

The characteristic symptom of Alopecia areata is a well-defined area or areas of hairy skin available in the areas keeping the hair normally. Sometimes you need to biopsy the scalp in order to verify the diagnosis. Any other symptoms, which may help to verify the diagnosis, are growth of short hair strands, which probably represent the broken hair strands, and the shortening of the hair in the scalp of the yellow areas in the follicular orifice, and also the appearance of gray hair observed in a bald area. Any other reasons for hair loss are usually not taken into account by means of the history and clinical evaluation.

What are the Symptoms?

The main symptom of the alopecia problem is hair loss. Hair usually consists of small round patches in the scalp. Such patches are usually a few centimeters long or less. Hair loss can also be observed in any other parts of the body. Primarily, you can observe hairball (hair flock) on your pillow or while/after having a shower. However, any other kinds of diseases can also cause hair to be lost in a similar manner. In respect of alopecia areata, should not only hair loss be used. Rarely, some people may experience wider hair loss. This is usually an indication of another type of alopecia; for example:

alopecia totalis, which is entire hair loss in the scalp, and

alopecia universalis, which is hair loss in the entire body.

Hair loss associated with alopecia areata is unpredictable. Hair can grow again at any moment, and subsequently it can be lost again. The degree of hair loss and re-growth varies from person to person.

What is the Treatment of the Alopecia Problem?

The longer the duration of hair loss is and the wider the area is, the less the possibility for spontaneous regeneration of hair is. Therefore, there are various treatments; however, it is uncertain that any of them may affect the course of such disease. Steroid injections can be very helpful in restarting the hair growth cycle in the areas treated. Steroid creams, lotions and shampoos have been used for years; however, they provide limited benefits in the best possible manner. Just as in many chronic disorders, that have not a single treatment method, a variety of methods, from which may be benefited, are actually encouraged. Even though it is considered that elimination of the emotional stress may be useful, there is not an effective prevention method known. No drug or hair care product is connected to the beginning of the alopecia areata. Even though it is not a definitive treatment, the cosmetic camouflage of alopecia areata is a definitely important matter with respect to patient management. The harmful emotional effect of the significant hair loss may be important for both men and women.

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