Alopecia Areata : Causes, Symptoms, Types and Treatment Options

Alopecia Areata, a disease which sounds scary, although rare, affects about 3% of the Americans. It is identified by extreme hair loss followed by bald patches throughout the scalp. Although there is no physical pain associated with the disease, it gives mental pain and suffering and causes lack of confidence, even shame and embarrassment in some people who avoid to meet others, even loved ones. This disease is common in people under age 20, can affect both genders and all ethnicities.

So What causes it?

Although the exact causes are unknown, genetics are considered to be a major contributor. One of five people who suffer from the disease say they have a close relative with alopecia areata. This can also happen to ones who have family members having lupus, diabetes, thyroid and other autoimmune disorders.

How do we identify it?

Alopecia Areata can be identified by bald patches which can be few centimeters in size or less. Although similar patterns can be caused due to some other conditions, this condition includes hair loss on parts of face like eybrows and facial hair. Some of the ways you can notice this is are:

  • Bald spots throughout the scalp
  • Clumps of hair on pillow cases or in shower
  • Hair loss on other parts of body

What are the types?

  1. Alopecia Areata: The basic form of alopecia with loss of hair patches on the scalp. It does not result in total baldness, however any area of the body apart from scalp, like beard, arms, legs eyebrows etc., can be affected.
  2. Alopecia Totalis: This is characterized by total baldness of the scalp.
  3. Alopecia Universalis: This is identified by complete hair loss on most parts of body including scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes, facial hair etc. It can also affect other parts of body.
  4. Androgenetic Alopecia: In men , this type accounts for hair loss above both temples forming an “M” shape. Women experience hair thinning.

How to treat this?

Unfortunately, there is no complete cure for this condition, however, it can be treated so that the hair grows back to some extent. Some of the treatments include:

  1. Corticosteroids: These are anti-inflammatory medicines which target the immune system. They may be in the form of injections or pills. They can cause nausea, weight gain, stomach irritation, insomnia etc.
  2. Topical immunotherapy: This can be done in case of widespread hair loss. This is considered an effective treatment for regrowth of hair.
  3. Minoxidil: This is used to address pattern baldness. It takes about 12 weeks to notice any changes. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness etc.

Where can I get it done?

SMP of Austin is an expert in the industry who provides Alopecia Areata Treatment in Austin. We understand your concern truly and are dedicated to provide the best hair treatment services in Austin and neighboring areas to help you regain your confidence. Call us now at (512) 866-1598 to speak to our experts on your queries or to book an appointment.

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