3 Degrees of Alopecia
Alopecia areata causes hair loss in patches and the person affected by it usually has one or two. Beside this basic form, there are two types of the condition that are more severe than that – alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis. Persons affected by Alopecia Totalis lose all the scalp hair, while the ones affected by alopecia universalis lose hair from the entire body, including eyelashes. Individuals with any of the three major forms of alopecia may also suffer from nail damage. The nails in some individuals may become pitted, rigid and brittle.
The basic form of hair loss - alopecia, can occur slow or quick and the hair around the patches may be broken and easily pulled out with brushing of the hair.
Alopecia totalis can occur at a different speed. The gradual form is often a continuation of patchy hair loss originating from alopecia areata. Kids and adolescents are the ones that usually have it, but anyone can be affected. There is an estimate that 2 percent of the male population and 1 percent of females in the United States suffer from alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis.
The most advanced form of alopecia, alopecia universalis, involves the loss of body hair, scalp hair and eyelashes. The only difference between this form of alopecia and the other two forms is the degree of hair lost. Besides that, the three disorders are essentially the same.
The persons who suffer from this condition are otherwise healthy, but some people may be affected with some other skin condition, like loss of skin pigment. There is not enough information about alopecia, but it is believed to be caused by the immune system's T-cells attacking the hair follicles. It can be caused by some other things, like starvation and irregular diet.
It can occur in some cases that Alopecia resolves on its own. If scalp hair doesn't regrow, medications may help people suffering from alopecia areata. Doctors usually prescribe steroids that can be applied directly to the bald patches , and injections of steroids can be administered as well. Minoxidil is effective for some people with AA, but it should be understood that if Minoxidil is used to regrow hair , the medication will have to be continued or the hair will eventually fall out again. It can occur that when the hair grows back, it has different color – white, and after gradually regain the color of the surrounding hair. Extensive hair loss, like it’s the case with alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis, is not so easily treated.
Alopecia is an unpredictable condition, since it can have different outcomes, it can be resolved on its own or after a long treatment, but it can occur that the hair does not regrow even after a long time. It all depends from the degree and the type of the condition, but also from the organism itself. Most people find hair loss hard and need counseling, but luckily there are many support groups as well as the means to hide the condition.
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