Do you have any question about alopecia areata? This article will give 7 fast facts about alopecia areata and will help you to understand this disease better.
1. What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is a disease which impairs the hair follicles or hair roots, which are part of the skin from where your hairs grow. In majority of alopecia areata incidents, hairs fall off in small, round patches around the dimension of a quarter. A lot of individuals with alopecia areata condition have merely a few bare patches.
Other individuals can lose much more hair. Even sometime, while very rarely, alopecia areata can cause a total fall of hair on the head as well as a complete fall of hair on the head, face and body.
7 Fast Facts on Alopecia Areata
2. Who Can Get Alopecia Areata?
The truth is anyone may get alopecia areata. It even often starts in childhood. Nowadays there is a little increased risk of getting alopecia areata in case that you have a close family member with the disease.
3. What Causes Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is actually an autoimmune disease. In a normal condition, your immune system will protect your body against any infection or illness. In an autoimmune disease condition, what happens is that your body’s immune system incorrectly assaults some portion of your own body. Specifically, in terms of alopecia areata, your immune system attacks your hair follicles.
Unfortunately, until today the cause is not quite known. Many scientists argue that an individuals’ genes might play an important role. In this regards, for individuals whose genes bring them at risk for alopecia areata, some kind of trigger begins the attack on the hair roots. These triggers can be a virus or bacteria in the individual’s environment.
4. How Will Alopecia Areata Affect My Life?
Actually, alopecia areata does not make you feel pain or sick. You also cannot transmit it to others. In fact, individuals who have alopecia areata are healthy in many ways. Alopecia areata will not shorten your happy life, and it shall not influence your daily activities such working, raising a family, or playing sports.
5. Will My Hair Ever Grow Back?
There are many chances that your hair will grow back. You might lose more hair but your hair loss may also stop. The hair that you have lost may grow back. Even an individual who has lost all of his or her hair can still grow all of his or her hair back. In this regards, alopecia areata effect varies from individual to individual.
6. How Is Alopecia Areata Treated?
It recommended that you should talk to your doctor first about the treatment that is best for you. In many cases, doctors might use general medicines approved for other hair diseases to aid your hair grow back.
Below are few specific treatments for alopecia areata.
Corticosteroids are actually drugs which will minimize swelling and pain. Yet, they also influence the immune system. In this regards, corticosteroids might be given in 3 methods for alopecia areata:
- Injected in the head skin
- Swallowed as pills
- Rubbed on the head skin as a cream or ointment
- Squaric acid dibutyl ester (SADBE) and diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP)
Meanwhile, drugs which affect the immune system include:
Photochemotherapy is a medical treatment where an individual is given a drug named a psoralen. The drug may be swallowed or rubbed on the skin. Once the drug is applied, the spot with hair fall is then exposed to an ultraviolet light.
Few people with alopecia areata condition also try alternative treatments. These alternative therapies include acupuncture, aroma therapy, evening primrose oil, zinc and other hair vitamin supplements. Due to the fact that the majority of alternative therapies have not been scientifically studied, they may or may not function to grow your hair back. It is advised that you should talk with your doctor before you apply these alternative therapies.
7. How Can I Cope With the Effects of Alopecia Areata
Living with alopecia areata can be quite hard. However, there are few good things that you can do to cope with the effects of this disease:
- Learning as much as you can about the alopecia areata
- Talking with others who are dealing with alopecia areata
- Learning to know yourself for who you are, not for how much hair you have or do not have
- Talking with a counselor to aid building a positive self-image
And here are some other great things that you may apply to minimize the physical discomforts of alopecia areata:
- Use sunscreens for the scalp, face, and all exposed skin
- Wear eyeglasses to protect eyes from sun, and from dust and debris, since eyebrows or eyelashes are missing
- Wear wigs, caps, or scarves to protect the scalp from the sun and also keep the head warm
- Eat antibiotic ointment inside the nostrils to aid to keep germs out of the nose since nostril hair is missing.
Click here for our recommended treatment for alopecia areata.
Alopecia areata – American Academy of Dermatology
Questions and Answers About Alopecia Areata
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