Alopecia Areata
What is Alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is a sudden onset hair loss that usually presents as one or more circular bald patches with normal looking skin over scalp or other hairy areas of body. It is an auto immune disease which means that our immune system mistakenly attacks a part of our own body. The cells in our immune system surround and attack our hair follicles.

What are the different types of Alopecia?

Patchy Alopecia areata: It is most common type of alopecia. It presents as one or more coin sized bald patches with normal underlying skin over scalp, eyebrows, moustache, beard or other hairy parts of body.

Alopecia areata totalis: This refers to complete loss of hair on the scalp.

Alopecia areata universalis: This type of hair loss is characterised by complete loss of hair on the body. It is linked to alopecia areata where the immune system fights not just the scalp hair, but body hair as well.

Diffuse Alopecia: In this variant, there is sudden thinning of hair all over the scalp instead of patchy hair loss.

Is alopecia areata permanent?

No, in most of the cases, alopecia areata resolves with a few months of treatment or even without treatment, but in some patients, it can be a recurring problem. In patients with total scalp or body involvement, there can be permanent hair loss.

What are the risk factors for developing alopecia areata?
  • A close relative with alopecia areata
  • Having another auto-immune disease like vitiligo, hypothyroidism or diabetes.
  • High stress levels

Things to Know

  • Oral immunomodulator or immunosupressant medicines as per disease severity
  • Locally applied medications like steroids, immunomodulators, contact irritants, etc.
  • Intra-lesional steroid injections
  • Natural Transplant or synthetic implants can be done in patches which have not been responding to medical treatment
  • Micropigmentation of bald areas can also be done in unresponsive cases
Yes, this condition can recur as this is an auto immune disorder.
Natural hair transplant may not be an ideal solution for this kind of hair loss as there is strong likelihood that the transplanted hairs will also be attacked by the immune system.
Yes, synthetic hair transplant can be done in those patients who have long term hair loss which has been non responsive to treatment . A patch test of 100 synthetic hair is generally advised to the patient to check for it's acceptance by the body before undergoing treatment for the whole area.
Scalp micro pigmentation is medical tattooing to give camouflage affect to thin hairs. It can be done alone as well as in combination with other treatment to give more realistic results.

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