Alopecia Areata is the name given to a condition where round bald spots appear on your skin and scalp. The hair loss is very sudden and quite often drastic. Alopecia is a disorder that causes a patient's immune cells to attack their own hair-growing tissue for unknown reasons. Usually a trigger is needed to start the process (often in the form of a virus)
There are three basic stages of Alopecia Areata:
1. Sudden hair loss. The patient will notice a bald spot. Which may appear minimal at first.
2. The bald area will enlarge; hair loss will increase in the immediate area of sighted balding.
3. New hair will grow in place of the lost hair. This process is different for everyone. Hair may start growing in a matter of weeks, months, sometimes more than one year. Neverheless, it's very rare that hair does not grow back.
Not Just the Scalp
Patients who start losing hair from their body (including eyebrows and eyelashes) are very wrinkled. They have every reason to feel this way. Alopecia Areata acts in such a way that it's very unnatural. But these patients are not alone in their experiences. Most patients do not realize that the symptoms that they're experiencing are all attributes of Alopecia-a temporary condition.
While many patients blame stress, medication, and poor diet; there is not any clinical proof that these claims coincide with the balding disorder. Unfortunately, doctors do not know why a patient's immune cells turn on the body and cause this condition. Despite this lack of information, studies do show that Alopecia Areata commonly occurs in patients who family members have had the condition. Alopecia Areata is not contagious.
While patience is an important asset with this condition, your physician may suggest cortisone shots (which promote and stimulate hair growth). Although Cortisone shots have been very successful with Alopecia patients, these shots are very painful. The average patient who opts for this treatment receives twenty to thirty shots into each patch, once per month. This treatment is only effective for the immediate area that has been injected. It does not assist hair growth in other bald areas.
Unfortunately, doctors can not predict if this treatment will work for you. There are no guaranteed results. A prescription cortisone cream is another solution, which can be applied to the bald area. Cortisone cream is not painful and can be easily applied in the privacy of your home.