Alopecia is a hair loss condition where thinning of hair occurs when the body immune system attacks the hair follicles, making them weak, thus leading to shedding and stopping the growth of other follicles. Alopecia causes vary from one patient to another since what may cause it in one patient does not cause it in the other.
Alopecia Areata now comes in as a type of alopecia where the hair thinning occurs in patches leaving some bald spots behind. Other types of alopecia include;
i)Alopecia Universalis, where hair loss occurs in all body parts.
ii) Alopecia totalis, where you lose all the hair from the scalp of your head.
iii) Ophiasis alopecia, where hair loss occurs in the back or around the sides of the head and is band-shaped.
iv) Diffuse alopecia, which is the sudden falling out of hair slightly more than the lost patches.
Signs and symptoms of Alopecia
i)Redness and brittleness of toenails and fingernails.
ii) Existence of small bald patches on the scalp and other body parts.
iii) The growing back of hair in a specific area and falling hair in a different area.
iv) Losing more hair during cold weather.
v) Bald spots brought about by the patches.
vi) Losing more hair in a short while.
The above symptoms are usually common in males and females. Sometimes, you may also have a skin-burning sensation and an itchy scalp period due to hair thinning.
The researchers are still unaware of what makes the body immune system attack hair falling making them weak, thus falling out. However, they suspect that some factors may cause alopecia following the study samples they have obtained on their research.
The causes may be;
Alopecia Areata may result from heredity since many studies have found that one out of five people who suffer from alopecia areata have a close family or relative who has suffered the same. Therefore the condition may come from the genes of different people.
ii) Medical conditions
Many medical condition problems may cause alopecia. For example;
c) Illness and infections.
d)Lack of iron in the body.
e) Autoimmune deficiencies such as diabetes, lupus, etc.
iii) Hormonal changes
When the hormones change their usual way of functioning, they may interfere with cells responsible for hair growth, thus hindering the hair follicles from growth. The hormones may change after certain conditions like childbirth, menstruations, pregnancies, menopause, etc.
Stress is another alopecia cause, whether physical or emotional. It may be due to illness, accident, or any other traumatizing activity that leads to the malfunctioning of the hormones and cells responsible for the growth of hair follicles.
There are certain medications that, when you use, have a side effect of causing hair to fall. Drugs used to treat blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, etc., may have such effects. If you experience hair fall while using the drugs, you may consult your doctor to change the type of medication for you if it would be possible.
Best hair treatments for Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata cannot be cured, although some over-the-counter drugs and procedures can cope with the challenge. The procedures may help in regrowing and increasing the density of hair after some time.
1. Use of minoxidil
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is a drug that comes in foam and solution form and is applied directly to the scalp to increase hair density and prevent further hair loss. When you use it in solution form, you may experience redness and irritation since the solution form contains some alcohol elements that the foam form lacks.
2. Use of corticosteroids
Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications used to treat autoimmune diseases. You can take them as an injection on the scalp or as a pill. They also come in a cream or foam solution for you to rub directly on the skin.
3. Use of topical immunotherapy
Topical immunotherapy is the application of chemicals directly on the scalp to generate allergic reactions. It is suitable for people who have experienced excessive hair loss but should be done several times for you to obtain positive results.
4. Use of hair transplant procedures
Hair transplant procedures that involve the extraction of hair follicles from the non-affected area and their plantation to the affected area can also help treat alopecia. One needs to get an experienced dermatologist to carry out the procedure to avoid any complications.
Other procedures such as micro scalp pigmentation, laser treatments, and scalp reduction can also treat alopecia.
This article has answered the various questions you may have been having, like, what is alopecia? What are the alopecia causes, symptoms, and treatments?. For further understanding of alopecia, you need to consult an experienced doctor or dermatologist.