Alopecia is a hair loss disease that often occurs in unhealthy people. It is the most common variety of baldness that occurs in many people all over the world. An individual with alopecia loses his or her hair in one part of the head. Alopecia areata is the loss of hair in patches; alopecia totalis is the loss of hair on the scalp while alopecia universalis is the loss of hair all over the body. Although only specific parts of the head are cropped up, the total part of the head or the body has already been affected as well.
Alopecia occurs in an individual as the immune systems assault the hair follicles of the hair which eventually causes hair loss. This often results to hair-thinning in human beings and even to mandrill species. It may result in complete hair loss at the top head or at the hairline. Fungal infections may also cause alopecia as coming from aging, illness, malnutrition, medications like chemotherapy, genetics and autoimmune disorder.
Some of the signs and symptoms attributed to Alopecia areata are the following:
Appearance of coin-sized, smooth and round patches on the head particularly on the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows and beard.
Widespread hair loss usually at the back of the scalp Nail problems on the toenails and fingernails with white spots, dents and roughness.
Upon confirmation of the disease, alopecia treatment may start with the prescription of corticosteroids, minoxidil, anthralin, and diphencyprone.
Corticosteroids will suppress the immune system but may have serious negative side effects. Minoxidil is a re-growth medicine that can be used by both children and adults. Anthralin can also alter the immune function of the skin but the skin has the potential of being irritated. Nutritional supplements may be taken like biotin, trace minerals, beta-sitosterol, saw palmetto, herbs, aromatherapy, and massage.
Surgical procedures for alopecia treatment may also be considered including scalp reduction, hair transplant and flap or strip grafts. Results from taking these prescriptions vary from one person to another. Hair may re-grow again for many years. It could provide a good sign of good health and bring back youthfulness.
When an individual has alopecia areata, they are prone to autoimmune diseases like thyroid disease known as vitiligo, asthma, allergies, or type 1 diabetes.
Alopecia areata, the most common type of alopecia, can be treated through different treatments. Once the dermatologist has observed that the patch of hair is continuously expanding, the doctor can pull out the hairs and test these under the microscope. A skin biopsy may be performed to further confirm the disease. Blood tests may as well be necessary to test if the patient has an autoimmune disease.
People with Alopecia areata should not fear of accepting and coming out. They may join support groups or hide hair loss through different hair styling, use of wigs or caps, or utilizing makeup.