12 / 28 / 16

Understanding Alopecia Areata—And What You Can Do About It

Hair loss happens in different ways, and for different reasons. When you pay attention to the pattern of your hair loss, it can sometimes help you to narrow down the underlying cause. For instance, have you experienced hair loss in patches—leaving bald spots on your head, roughly the size of quarters? If so, then there’s a good chance that what you’re dealing with is alopecia areata. Visiting your doctor, or receiving a trichological evaluation, can confirm this.

Maybe this is a condition you’re not totally familiar with, though. We’ll offer some quick facts about alopecia areata here, as well as some recommendations for moving forward.

Alopecia Areata at a Glance

Categorized as an autoimmune disease, alopecia areata causes the body to attack the hair follicles, leading to the hair loss pattern we described above—hair falling out in small, round, quarter-sized patches. Most people who have this disease will experience just a few bald patches; for some, the patches will be more numerous. Total hair loss is possible, but not as common.

This is an equal-opportunity offender, in the sense that anyone can get alopecia areata. Usually, it begins before age 20, though it is possible not to notice any symptoms until much later in life. If you have a family member with alopecia areata, that puts you at a slightly increased risk for developing the condition yourself.

The Cause of Alopecia Areata

Normally, the body’s immune system works to defend the body against disease and infection—but with an autoimmune condition, such as this one, the immune system mistakenly attacks other parts of the body. As for what causes a person to develop alopecia areata, however, the science isn’t clear. Genetics are believed to play a big role. It is also suspected that viruses can sometimes trigger the onset of this condition.

Effects and Treatment

Alopecia areata is unpredictable, and the effects vary from person to person. Sometimes those who lose hair will regrow it, and sometimes those who regrow hair will lose it again. The effects may or may not be permanent, and there is not currently a cure for alopecia areata.

The good news is that alopecia areata will not cause you pain or impede you from living your life; it’s also not something you can transfer to another person. The main worry is the hair loss—and there are always ways to address this symptom.

Come to Hair Professionals to discover what some of those solutions may be—including topical treatments, hair systems, and even laser hair therapy. We can help diagnose your problem and provide some suggestions for effective ways to treat your alopecia and to restore lost hair. Learn more by visiting Hair Professionals today.