Alopecia Areata – Trichology Consultation
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease defined by patches of hair loss on various parts of the body and more usually the scalp. The body attacks hair follicles and destroys its own tissue as it mistakenly sees them as threats, which results in hair loss. Sometimes, the disease can spread to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or to the entire body (alopecia universalis).
Typically, the first symptoms of areata alopecia are small patches of hair loss on the scalp, where the underlying skin looks unscarred and normal in appearance. The patches can have any shape but are usually circular or oval. The hair tends to fall out within a short period of time and it tends to occur on one particular side of the scalp. The area where the hair has been lost can tingle or even be painful. The disease can go into remission in some cases or it can become permanent. Some evidence indicates alopecia areata affect hair follicles associated with colored hair, which could mean that gray hair might not be affected.
It is unclear what causes alopecia areata. There is a possibility that it could come from heredity it happens to people who have had affected family members. More generally, it is more likely to affect people whose relatives have autoimmune diseases. Alopecia areata is not contagious, it comes from an autoimmune disorder in which the body stop hair growth by attacking hair follicles. Stressful or emotional problems can also be factors that could influence the condition.
Alopecia Areata Diagnosis
To diagnose alopecia areata, the best option is to visit the Wimpole Clinic and get a physical examination in order to look at the underlying skin and patterns. Because there can be so many factors that can be involved in alopecia areata, we act as detectives to understand the real causes. Knowing if the hair fell suddenly or gradually can help our search.
Other information such as allergies or specific diets are clues we can use to provide you with an accurate diagnosis for alopecia areata. Sometimes, the evidence lies in your scalp and may require doing a scalp biopsy, which can be essential to solving the case. Sometimes, a blood test is also necessary. Contact us for a consultation and we will help you find out if you have alopecia areata.
Alopecia Areata Treatments
As alopecia areata can have an emotional impact, seeking a treatment can help you psychologically and physiologically. If it is due to an infection, or another condition, treating the underlying problem may help prevent further hair loss. For general male pattern baldness there are two medicines that can be used to treat hair loss: p and minoxidil. As far as female pattern baldness is concerned, minoxidil is the only treatment available. In the case of alopecia areata, if the affected region is small, it can be reasonable to observe the progression in case the problem spontaneously regresses and the hair grows back.
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