Alopecia is the name of a condition that causes hair loss. The most common form is known as Alopecia Areata and people suffering from this condition often become anxious and self-conscious about their appearance.
Early symptoms are small, bald patches which are most usually round and about the size of a large coin, commonly on the scalp and beard but can appear on any hair-bearing part of the body. In some cases, the nails can become pitted or ridged.
What are the causes of Alopecia?
Alopecia is usually referred to as an auto-immune disease, but a better description might be ‘A condition that is symptomatic of an underlying emotional cause’.
The function of the immune system is to generate white blood cells and antibodies to attack germs, bacteria and viruses. Sometimes it becomes as if the immune system becomes confused (faulty wiring), and it can then mistakenly attack healthy tissue in the body.
Viruses, infection, medicines or other environmental factors canal be possible triggers. Unfortunately, underlying emotional causes are not always explored and addressed. It appears that many people who suffer hair loss will have been under moderate to severe stress in the previous 1-2 years. For example: job loss, bereavement, divorce or relationship problems, financial difficulties, or accident trauma.
For some people, Hypnotherapy can be very helpful in identifying the emotional cause and neutralising the resulting negative effects, thereby allowing the immune system to re-programme itself and revert to doing what it was designed to do, and normally does brilliantly.
Who is affected by Alopecia?
Alopecia can occur at any age but most often in teenagers and children, male or female, prior to the age of 20.
It is thought that around 2 in 100 people will be affected at some point in their life.
Hair will re-grow within a year, without treatment, in about 50% of cases. In more severe cases, the condition can progress to Alopecia Totalis (complete baldness) or even Universalis (complete loss of scalp and body hair).
Alopecia is an unpredictable condition. Hair re-growth may be complete, partial, or non-existent. Even if the hair grows back fully after one episode, it is possible there will be further recurrences in the future.
Where there is severe hair loss, typical conventional treatment will include steroid creams or injections and oral corticosteroids. All of these drugs can have averse side-effects, and success is not guaranteed, so should be avoided whenever possible.
The psychological effects of Alopecia
Embarrassment caused by visible hair loss can lead to the sufferer becoming anxious, low in confidence and even depressed. They will often avoid public or social situations to the point where they become increasingly isolated.
Making a plan of action
Firstly, make an appointment with your GP for a diagnosis. Ask about treatment, side effects and consequences before making any decisions.
If you can believe there is an emotional component or cause to the condition, then you may consider seeking the help of an experienced, qualified Hypnotherapist who will help you identify and neutralise the cause, whilst at the same time coaching you in powerful visualisation techniques to promote healthy new hair growth.