09 / 18 / 15

Alopecia Areata – What Is It?

There are several causes of hair loss, generally known as alopecia. Some of the situations that cause alopecia are damage to the hair shafts or follicles and fungal infections. We are going to focus on the type of alopecia that is known as alopecia areata.

Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system attacks your hair follicles. The good news is that the damage to the hair follicle is usually not permanent. This type of alopecia generally occurs in young people – age 20 and younger. But, that does not mean that children and older adults are immune – they are not. It is not more common in one sex than the other. Both sexes are affected equally.

At the onset of alopecia areata, clumps of hair start falling out. This results in totally smooth round bare spots on the scalp. Sometimes the hair becomes thinner, and there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable patches of baldness. At other times, the hair may grow and then break off leaving short stubs. And finally, in rare cases, there occurs complete loss of scalp hair as well as body hair. This type of hair loss comes and goes. In other words, when, over several months, hair will grow back in one area, it will be certain to fall out in another.

In the cases of alopecia areata which results in patches of hair loss, the hair generally grows back in a few months. Most of the time the new hair is the same color and texture as the rest of the hair, but occasionally it grows in fine and white. And, 10% of the people who have alopecia areata, may never regrow hair. The people who are most likely to have permanent hair loss are those who:

  • Have a family history of the condition.
  • Have the condition at a young age (before puberty) or for longer than 1 year.
  • Have another autoimmune disease
  • Are prone to allergies (atopy).
  • Have extensive hair loss.
  • Have abnormal color, shape, texture, or thickness of the fingernails or toenails.
  • Although alopecia areata cannot be cured, it can be treated after it has been diagnosed by a physician. Some people choose not to treat alopecia areata because it generally does grow back within a year.

During that time, the experts at Hair Replacement Clinic in Dayton, Ohio can help with the following options:

  • Non surgical hair replacement: This is a procedure that is done by making a contact lens type of material in which hair is implanted into the material using a medical adherent. There are also other techniques depending on the amount of hair loss.
  • Certain hair care products and styling techniques that make the hair look thicker: Sometimes dyes are applied to the scalp, but we do not recommend this as it could cause more hair loss.

In other words, we can help with the devastation of hair loss due to alopecia areata. Contact HRC Dayton today!