Alopecia is a broad name that encompasses several different types of hair loss, and while alopecia is not contagious, it can be an external sign of an underlying health condition. For example, alopecia areata, one of the most common types hair lossis an autoimmune disorder. Hair loss of any kind can have a dramatic and negative impact on your self-esteem and confidence. Today we will try to answer your questions about alopecia areata, what it is, its causes, treatments, and whether it can be cured.
What is Alopecia Areata?
As mentioned earlier, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system begins to attack normal, healthy hair follicles as if they were a foreign substance or harmful microbe that did not belong to the body. The immune system attack damages the hair follicles and inhibits hair growth and causes hair loss. The main symptom of this disorder is patchy areas of hair loss. The shedding usually occurs on the scalp, but it can also affect the eyebrows, eyelashes or any other part of the body. Alopecia areata seems to have a genetic component, as it tends to run in families. This is the type of hair loss that Jada Pinkett-Smith has. She made public her experience with alopecia in 2018, which has raised awareness for this often misunderstood condition.
Treatable But Not Curable
While there is no cure for alopecia areata, there are treatments that can help. Usually the hair loss associated with this condition comes and goes, in which case the bald areas fill up on their own over time. If your hair is not regrowth, there are topical medications that can be applied to bald spots to promote hair regrowth, as well as steroid injections and platelet-rich plasma injections, which some studies have shown may be more effective than steroid treatments. Low-level laser light treatments can also be effective. Oral medications may also be prescribed. And if these treatments aren’t for you, there are also non-surgical hair replacement options like wigs and Dermal Lens hair replacements to consider giving you back a full and gorgeous head of hair.
Other Types of Alopecia
Not all types of alopecia are caused by an abnormal immune system reaction. Some types of alopecia are linked to environmental and lifestyle factors, age, nutritional deficiencies, genetics, and even mental health conditions. Some other types of alopecia include:
Alopecia Totalis- It is a more severe form of alopecia areata, in which the entire scalp is shed. Alopecia totalis shares the same cause and is treated in the same way as alopecia areata.
Alopecia Universalis- The most severe form of alopecia areata. In this type, all hair on the scalp and body is shed, including eyelashes and eyebrows. Alopecia Universalis also shares the same cause and treatments as alopecia areata.
Androgenetic Alopecia – It is a common type of hair loss that affects both men and women. Men typically experience hair loss in a well-defined pattern, resulting in an M-shaped receding hairline. In women, the hair thins over the entire head without receding the hairline. Various genetic and environmental factors play a role in this type of alopecia. Treatment options include hair transplant as well as those listed for alopecia areata.
Alopecia Senilis- hair loss caused by the normal aging process. In this type of hair loss, the hair falls from the top of the head to just below the crown. The hairs on the sides and back are usually unaffected, and this type typically only affects males. Treatments are similar to androgenetic alopecia.
The first step to beating alopecia and achieving a full hair shaft is to have a complete and comprehensive evaluation of your scalp and hair, and to take a complete health and lifestyle history to determine the type and cause of your hair loss. Armed with this information, our hair loss experts can determine the best treatment method to achieve your hair restoration goals. Do not accept hair loss as a normal part of life and learn to live with it. Tackle and regain your self-esteem, confidence and hair.
Our hair loss experts in care Hair Transplantation Institute will assist you in a confidential and private appointment where we will assess your general health, degree of hair loss, hair replacement concerns and hair replacement goals. Next, we will create a customized hair replacement plan to meet your unique needs. Call 612-588-HAIR (4247) for a private, free consultation. You will find us at: 8030 Old Cedar Ave S Ste 202, Bloomington, MN.