Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It causes hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body. While it can be devastating for many, treatments available help manage its effects and reduce hair loss. In this blog post, you will learn what alopecia areata is, who it affects, and how it can be treated.
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss caused by an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells in the body, including those responsible for growing hair follicles. This results in patches of baldness on your scalp or other areas of the body with hair. The severity of alopecia areata varies from person to person; some may only experience mild patchy baldness, while others may experience more severe cases where almost all their body hair has been lost.
Alopecia areata usually affects children and young adults between the ages of 3-30, but it can affect people at any age. It is also more common in among women. Here are other known risk factors for the disorder.
One of the most significant risk factors for alopecia areata is genetics. Studies have shown that if someone in your family has had this condition, you may be more likely to develop it yourself. Up to 10% of people with alopecia areata have a family history of the disease. Scientists believe that certain genetic variations may be linked to an increased risk of developing alopecia areata as well. However, further research is needed to confirm this link.
Having certain medical conditions can also increase your chance of developing alopecia areata. For example, people with thyroid disease or diabetes may be more likely to get this autoimmune disorder than those without these conditions. In addition, people who have recently recovered from a viral infection or been diagnosed with psoriasis or another skin disorder may also be at greater risk of developing alopecia areata. Additionally, people who take certain medications, such as beta-blockers or immunosuppressants, may also see an increase in their risk factors for this condition.
Certain diseases can also cause this disease. For example, diabetes or thyroid disease can trigger alopecia areata in people who already have these conditions. Additionally, some autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or multiple sclerosis, may be associated with the development of this type of hair loss.
Finally, high-stress levels can also increase your risk for alopecia areata. Stress can cause physical changes in the body that make it easier for an autoimmune disorder like alopecia areata to take hold and manifest itself through hair loss on the scalp or other areas of the body, such as eyebrows and eyelashes. Stress can also affect how quickly you recover from any existing hair loss due to this condition, so it’s essential to find healthy ways to manage stress levels and stay on top of any new symptoms that arise.
How is Alopecia Areata Treated?
The treatment for alopecia areata depends on its severity and extent of involvement. Mild cases may not require treatment as they often resolve spontaneously without intervention within 12 months. However, there are different ways it can be treated.
If the disorder isn’t severe, certain cosmetic products can help deal with it. For example, the less severe forms of the disease can affect the eyebrows. People with the disorder can use reliable dip brow pomade to cover the damage. It’s an affordable way to protect bald patches and more. Another example is the use of wigs and hairpieces. This can be a great way to hide the bald patches while waiting for them to grow back.
If the disorder is more severe, corticosteroid injections may be recommended. Corticosteroid injections are used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. This helps to slow down the destruction of hair follicles and possibly even restore some hair growth. These injections are typically administered once every three or four weeks and can be combined with other treatments, such as topical or light therapy.
For mild to moderate alopecia areata, topical treatments such as corticosteroid creams and lotions may be prescribed. These medications are applied directly to the scalp to reduce inflammation and help hair regrowth. However, it’s important to note that these treatments must be used consistently and as directed by a doctor to be effective.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that can cause significant hair loss. While there is no cure, treatments may help manage the condition and encourage hair regrowth. It’s essential to speak to a doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of alopecia areata so they can assess your situation and create a treatment plan that is right for you.