What is Alopecia? Its diagnosis, causes and treatment

Alopecia areata is a kind of disease that causes hair fall in the different area of the head, usually hair fall out in small patches. In this skin condition patient own immune system attack on his hair follicles and hair fall starts in the patches and with passage of the time hair becomes more smaller and drastically slow down the production of the hair to that area, hair growth may stop also in most cases. Hair follicles are the structure in which hair grow.

A research shows it affects 6.8 million people in the US. It can be extreme or can be few patches on the head and on the entire body called alopecia universalis and in some cases a complete loss of hair on the scalp occur called alopecia totalis.

Unfortunately alopecia can attack on any age and gender that is the reason the young guys also suffering with this disease.  In the alopecia hair can be regrow as hair follicles remains alive and hair grow is possible but it last for many years in some people.

You are at the risk of alopecia if your parents or a close family member has this disease and even the risk becomes higher if your close family member lost his/her hair before the age of 25.

Causes of Alopecia:

Our immune system normally defends us against the viruses and bacteria. But in certain condition, immune system attacks on hair follicles and on some other body parts by mistake causes alopecia. So alopecia is an autoimmune disease. Hair follicles with pigment particularly attacked. Although it can occur due to genetic predisposition, anxiety attacks, environmental trigger and acute stressful periods.

Although the exact reason of the immune system to attack on hair follicles is not found yet. So the exact cause of alopecia is not known. However alopecia is occasionally associated with genetic predisposition.

Alopecia is not occur due to nerve and it is not contagious. Although researches also shows the stressed people are at higher risk of alopecia.

Symptoms of Alopecia:

In alopecia you does not feel any pain and it does not make you sick. The round patches of balding often a quarter in size initially occur. It can be get extreme in some people. Any side of hair growth may be affected in the alopecia including eyelashes and the beard.

Hair fall occur suddenly in some cases, even developing in just few weeks. You might feel irritation, itchy scalp or burning before the occurrence of alopecia.

Fortunately in alopecia hair follicles are not dead so hair can regrow. The people who have just few bald patches of coin size are able to full recovery of hair without any treatment. Nevertheless about half of alopecia patient can regrow hair in a period of one year.

However in some initial alopecia symptoms nails becomes less shiny as alopecia affect toe nails and fingernails. Usually the changes like rough nails, white spot and lines, occurring of pinpoint dent, thin and splitting of nails can be the initial signs of alopecia.

Treatment and diagnosis of Alopecia:

Currently there is no potential treatment of alopecia found. However doctors suggested some treatments that can be helpful in the recovery of hairs.

First of all dermatologist should perform skin biopsy to confirm the disease is alopecia areata. In skin biopsy microscope used to study the skin pieces.

The major treatment of alopecia areata is the use of corticosteroids which is a drug that has anti-inflammatory properties and can suppress the immune system. It can be form of creams or in ointment. Other medications such as minoxidil that you can rub directly on scalp really effective in hair growth stimulation. Some doctors suggest steroid injections as well.

Photochemotherapy is also used for this purpose, this is a type of radiation treatment in which a combination of oral medication and ultraviolent light use to stimulate hair growth. Some alternative therapy such as aromatherapy, acupuncture are also suggested by many of experts.

You can take herbal supplements and add more vitamins in your diet to prevent against this disease. As many of therapies are not clinically tested so their effectiveness is not really estimated.

Finally you can go for the some natural steps such as

  • Should use sunscreen to protect ultraviolent rays of sun
  • Protect eyelashes by wearing sunglasses if eyelashes have fallen out
  • Use a scarf or wear a hat on the scalp for protection

Nevertheless you should talk to your doctor for the potential treatment as patient of alopecia can use more than one treatment at a time even can boost the quick recovery of hairs.

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