Alopecia areata triggers hair loss and leaves bald patches on the scalp. While hair can grow back in some cases, baldness remains permanent in others, making a significant impact on the patient’s appearance.
There are ways to treat alopecia, and they are successful most of the time. In this post, we’ll look at the different types of alopecia and the potential treatments/solutions available to reduce its effects.
What does alopecia mean?
Alopecia areata does not affect specific age or gender groups only — men and women can both start to display symptoms in their twenties. However, more women tend to experience it more than men as they get older.
This can be a major blow, as a full head of healthy hair is typically considered a staple of femininity. Baldness may leave women struggling to cope with their exposed scalp and affect their confidence so much their lifestyle becomes disrupted.
As you lose your hair, circular bald patches will start to develop on the scalp. While the skin itself looks healthy with no signs of scarring, other symptoms may include itching, redness or scaling. These can be frustrating and distressing, only exacerbating the distress alopecia causes.
Alopecia areata can develop in the space of just a few days, and a minority of sufferers will have a relative with experience of the condition.
Hair can grow back grey or white initially after falling out. This is normal, and the hair tends to return to its natural colour after a few months of growth.
The different types of alopecia
#1. If you experience complete baldness or develop larger patches of thinning, it’s likely you suffer from alopecia totalis.
#2. Alopecia universalis applies to full-body hair loss; nails may be affected too, displaying ridges or pits.
#3. Androgenic alopecia is Male Pattern Baldness, the most common kind of hair loss.
#4. Cicatricial alopecia sees hair follicles destroyed and replaced with scar tissue.
#5. Traction alopecia is usually caused by excessive tension and breakage, such as wearing tight hairstyles.
Some cases of alopecia are an autoimmune issue. The immune system generates antibodies and white blood cells to help keep the body safe from bacteria, viruses and a wide range of germs.
Affected hair roots in the bald patch are regarded as a foreign body by white blood cells, causing more hairs to fall out.
Certain cases of alopecia may heal with no medication in a few months, though more severe examples do require help.
Immunotherapy is one effective option for alopecia areata.
This involves applying a certain chemical (such as DPCP) to the skin directly, triggering an irritation that stimulates hair growth (as the immune system’s attention is essentially diverted to another area).
Corticosteroids are another potential treatment.
These strong anti-inflammatory drugs suppress the immune system and block its attack on the hair, helping to stimulate regrowth.
Visiting a hair clinic could lead you to find help and the treatment you need.
Professionals in a clinic will examine your scalp and hair, run blood tests and suggest your options.
A hair transplant may be a viable option if there has been no hair loss in a certain area for a year or more, though it isn’t guaranteed.
Hair transplants work best if no more hair loss is likely, and can have permanent results.
The procedure will restore a more youthful hairline and potentially improve the patient’s self-confidence.
If you have a history of alopecia and wish to discuss the possibility of a hair transplant, please don’t hesitate to contact HairPalace’s friendly team today.