Alopecia Areata is a disease that causes hair loss. It usually affects the scalp, but can also affect other areas of the body that have hair. The hair loss is quite rapid, and occurs in patches. Alopecia Areata (AA) is common form of hair loss, unpredictable and not painful disease. Usually people who suffer this disease are losing their hair in small, round patches from areas of the body, usually the scalp.
Alopecia Areata usually affects younger women and children. This condition has unknown causes, although in some cases, it happens because of the body’s auto-immune response to form white cells and the hair follicles on the areas where the hair is commonly produced are attacked. A distinguishable polished area of the scalp that feels silky smooth commonly becomes noticeable. And the hairs that surround the bald areas are thin and break off easily. These may be extremely fine and the entire shaft of hair would resemble an exclamation mark.
Causes of Alopecia
The specific cause of alopecia areata is unknown. A family history of alopecia is present in about a fifth of all cases. Alopecia areata is occasionally associated with autoimmune diseases . –Normally the immune system protects the body against infection and disease. In an autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks some part of your own body. In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles. For people whose genes put them at risk for the disease, some type of trigger starts the attack on the hair follicles. The triggers may be a virus or something in the person’s environment.
Symptoms of Alopecia
Alopecia areata is actually a disease of the immune system and is commonly referred to as an autoimmune syndrome. This puts this disease into a class that also includes Crohn’s disease as well as IBD and so on. The most common symptoms of alopecia areata is the hair loss on the head as well as the other parts of the body. The reason this occurs is the fact that the immune system starts to attack the hair follicles and stops them from growing hair or maintaining the root structure. When this happens the hair is no longer healthy and will fall out. With this particular form of alopecia you will normally have quarter sized patches of hair loss on the scalp and men can suffer from the same on the chest and so on.
Treatment of Alopecia
1. Certain medications to promote hair growth (such as minoxidil and finasteride).
2. Treating any underlying condition or disease.
3. Corticosteroid injections (when treating alopecia areata).
4. Scalp reduction.
5. A doctor can prescribe several drugs, including creams and steroid injections. Many people also respond well to drugs that promote hair growth.
Sufferers of alopecia areata should not give up hope of a cure as there are many ongoing research projects are currently being undertaken. Some of the most promising involve gene therapy, stem cells research and hair follicle development and new alopecia areata treatments will continue to be made available.
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