What would you do if you woke up from a good night's sleep and suddenly, you see a lot of your precious hair strands on your pillow? How would you feel if more and more people are throwing comments at how your hair has grown thinner, and suddenly, you see only a patch of hair left? Alopecia totalis is a type of alopecia in which there is a rapid hair loss of the scalp. Unlike other type of other types of alopecia such as androgenetic alopecia in which it still leaves a reasonable amount of hair, this condition grazes of each strand of hair from the scalp. It is a form of alopecia areata which only affects scalp hair, which means other hairs such as facial and body hair are spared. Neverheless, it is a condition which may need medical consultation depending on different situations.
The direct cause of alopecia totalis, like all alopecia cases, is still unknown at this point. However, there are several factors which are being considered to be the cause of this condition. Experts and scientists have pointed out various various factors, most of them revolving around genetics. It is not surprising that men are the most common casualties of this condition. This is because of high amounts of androgens present in their body. Androgens such as testosterone are considered to be a major player in the progress of this condition.
One particular androgen, known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT is thought to have the greatest contribution to the development of alopecia. Hair follicles which are too sensitive to surges of these hormones tend to shrink and shrivel up, losing its function. Another thing to look at would be genes and heredity. Fatehers and sons who are bald are a common sight in the community nowdays. Researches show that a person with a relative who has alopecia has a higher chance of developing this condition than those who do not. It is also believed to be caused by autoimmune disorders, a condition wherein the immune system becomes so super active that it starts destroying the normal cells and tissues present in the body. When this happens, hair follicles die, causing hair strands to fall off. Alopecia can also be caused by deliberate measures, such as a side effect of chemotherapy and other drugs which react to fast-acting cells.
Alopecia totalis can be totally stressful. It can be as emotionally and socially devastating as any disease. It can even leave a person withdrawn, conscious and insecure. Here, acceptance and understanding are helpful to them. This condition can be appreciated by various modalities, all directed to its possible causes. Some products like minodixil or caffeine can be used to stimulate blood microcirculation on the hair follicles to regain its function. Drugs such as immunomodulating agents which suppress the immune system can also be used to moderate the activity of possible autoimmune disorder. Some drugs which modulate hormones can be used. Please keep in mind that alopecia is a medical condition. Here, seeking medical consultation is strongly advised.