Alopecia areata is a condition or disease where hair loss is experienced in some part of the epidermis, usually the scalp. It is an autoimmune disease where the body does not recognize itself and thus the nerve endings attack the hair follicle (the root of the hair that is responsible for hair growth). This in turn causes the loss of hair in that particular area of the skin, usually in round or oval shapes.
It is most common in children and teenagers but can occur at any part of one’s life regardless of their age. It is also important to take note of the fact that it is not contagious in any way, as the causes of this disease originate from one’s body. It, therefore, cannot be transmitted from one person to the other.
Different Types Of Alopecia Areata
There are different classifications of this disease, depending on the amount of hair loss and the extent of the affected epidermis. Therefore, in extreme cases , we have alopecia totalis, where hair loss over the entire scalp is experienced (occurs 1 in every 5 people that suffer from this condition) and alopecia universalis, where hair loss over the entire epidermis is experienced (occurs 1 in every 10 people with alopecia areata).
Other mild cases of this disease include alopecia areata monolocularis, where hair loss is experienced in one area of the scalp (a round or oval shaped patch) and alopecia areata multilocularis, where hair loss occurs in two or more round or oval patches around the scalp.
Other classifications of the disease include alopecia areata barbae, where hair loss is experienced in the beard in men and ophiasis, where the hair loss occurs on the scalp but takes a wave shape around the circumference of the head.
Causes Of Alopecia Areata
As mentioned earlier, alopecia areata is a relatively rare auto-immune condition which cause hair loss from various areas of the body. The hair loss occurs because the body becomes unable to recognize itself and it begins to destroy tissues as if they were an infection.
Research and occurrence tendencies have alluded to heredity being the main cause. There is a strong genetic association between the occurrence of this condition and family tires. There is an increased chance of occurrence of this disease where a family member is known to have suffered from the same disease.
Signs And Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata
Signs and symptoms of this disease include the occurrence of small patches of baldness on the scalp or any other part of the body. The exposed skin remains near normal and is not scared, although the bald patches are usually sensitive and painful in some cases. Hair round the bald patches tends to pull out easily, as it produces less resistance as compared to other regions of the head.
Hair loss in most cases may be experienced for a short while but after some time hair growth may occur, indicative of regression of the condition.
Alopecia Areata Treatment
Treatment of the condition in the less evasive occurrences of the condition entails just observing the progression of the condition. Since many times the condition regresses on its own, one should take treatment as an option on if the condition progresses.
However, there are corticosteroids injections and creams that do treat the condition.