четвртак, 07. јун 2012.

Get to Know Alopecia Areata

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. It is primarily caused due to the abnormal functioning of the immune system, which in turn results in autoimmunity. Because of this condition, the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles thus disrupting the normal growth of hair. The hair loss is quite rapid, and occurs in patches. It causes bald spots on the head especially in the first stage. And thus it has the nickname "spot baldness". This hair loss disorder is also sometimes associated with other categories of autoimmune conditions such as thyroid, lupus, ulcerative colitis, vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergic disorders. People with a family history of Alopecia areata are also prone to get this disease. In addition, factors such as anxiety, stress, and intake of certain medications are also regarded as reasons for the onset of Alopecia Areta. In 1-2 % of cases the condition is found to be spreading to the entire scalp or epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin).

It can occur in any part of the body, which has hair, not just the scalp - in the beard, eyebrows, eye lashes and any other place where you grow hair. But it mainly occurs on the scalp, usually as round spots about the size of quarters. There is no physical discomfort associated with this disorder. There are three different types of alopecia areata, depending on the location and the severity of the attack:

1. When hair is lost all over the scalp it’s called Diffuse Alopecia Areata. 2. In case when the hair loss is confined to the beard it’s called Alopecia Areata Barbae. 3. The third case is the highest degree of hair loss, from all over the body including scalp, eye brows, eye lashes, pubic hairs, nose hairs and it’s called Alopecia Areata Universalis.

In more than ninety percent of all cases of Alopecia areata , if the affected region is small, symptoms disappear on their own without medical intervention. For some reason, certain environmental triggers such as stress cause the occurrence of AA in patients. Remove the stress and the hair may grow back. About half of all people affected will grow their hair back within a year without getting any treatment. However, the condition can reoccur at any time. Reoccurrence is common.

A doctor can prescribe several drugs, including creams and steroid injections. Many people also respond well to drugs that promote hair growth. These are the Alopecia areata treatment available:

- Medications such as Anthralin, Minoxidil and others - Lotions and creams like Marbo Activator, Marbo Lotion and Marbo Shampoo - Steroid injections Diet plays an important role in triggering or reducing inflammation in the body. The foods you eat contain certain substances that can either promote the inflammatory response or reduce it. In addition, certain food can promote normal immune function.

The effects of this disease are mainly psychological. Alopecia areata often leads to a reduced self-image. The scalp is more susceptible to sun damage due to the loss of hair. Also, due to the loss of nasal hair, hay fever and similar allergic conditions can worsen. Because of the social discomfort, many women with this disease will wear wigs. There is no treatment that works for everyone. They just have to let the disease run its course. The best thing to do is to discuss the options with your doctor.

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