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Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata

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Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss unpredictably. In this condition, you may find small patches over the head. This condition may go unnoticeable sometimes until they are not connected. Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.

Sudden hair loss can be seen on the scalp. In some cases, it leads to hair loss of eyebrows, eyelashes, and face, as well as other parts of the body. It may develop slowly and recur after years between instances.

This may happen with anyone regardless of age and gender. The condition can cause total hair loss called alopecia Universalis and it can stop hair growing back. When hair grows back, there is a chance to fall again. But the extent of hair loss can and regrowth can vary from person to person.

Currently, alopecia areata has no cure. Although some treatments can help to grow back the hair faster and save further hair loss. Otherwise, a hair transplant is another option to cover up the hair loss. Resources are also available to help people deal with stress-related hair loss. 

Causes of Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. It happens when your immune system attacks healthy tissues. Normally, your immune system defends your body against foreign invaders or pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. If you have alopecia areata, however, your immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles. Hair follicles are the structures from which hairs grow. The follicles get smaller and not producing hair, causing hair loss.

But the exact cause of alopecia areata why it happens is yet unknown. Genetics may play a role in developing this condition.

Researchers also believe that certain factors in the environment can trigger alopecia areata in people who are genetically predisposed to it.

Symptoms of Alopecia areata

The prime symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss. Hair usually falls out into small patches on the scalp. These patches can often be many centimeters or less. 

Hair loss may also occur in other areas of the face like the eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard, as well as other parts of the body. It varies from person to person, some people lose in a few parts, and others may have a lot of spots.

First of all, you can notice clumps of hair on your pillow or in the bathroom. If the spots are on the back of your head, somebody can bring them to your attention. Also, it is possible, other health conditions may also cause hair fall or loss in a similar pattern. Hair loss isn't diagnosed as alopecia areata.

In rare conditions, a few people may face more extensive hair loss. This is usually a symptom of another type of alopecia, such as:

  • alopecia totalis, which is the loss of all hair on the scalp.
  • alopecia Universalis, which is the loss of all hair on the entire body.

Doctors may not use the terms 'totalis' and ' Universalis

but people have got something between the two. There is also the possibility to lose all hair on the arms, legs, scalp, but not on the chest, for example.

Hair loss is linked to alopecia is unpredictable. As far as doctors and researchers can tell that. The hair can grow back at any time and then can fall out again. The extent of hair loss and regrowth varies majorly from person to person.

Treatment

There is no known cure for alopecia. But treatments can help to slow down the future loss of hair or help hair grow back more quickly.

The condition is difficult to predict, which means it may need a large amount of trial and error until you get something that works for you. For some people, hair loss may still get worse, even with treatment

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