What is alopecia?

Posted by on Dec 17, 2019 in Alopecia | 0 comments

What is alopecia?

Alopecia is one of the most complicated and hard to understand disorders out there, though its symptoms are certainly easy to recognize. Those living with alopecia commonly find their hair falling out in large patches, which can take a huge hit on their confidence and self-esteem.

The disorder goes far beyond hair loss, however. And if you find yourself not understanding much about the disease, you’re not alone. I decided to take it upon myself to research more about alopecia and what medical experts know about it. Check out what I found below.

All about Alopecia

Alopecia is an autoimmune skin disease. With this disorder, the immune system attacks the hair follicles, stunting growth and resulting in significant hair loss. Hair loss doesn’t just occur on the scalp — you may notice hair thinning on other parts of the body as well. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, about 6.8 million people in the United States have alopecia areata. 

The condition does not discriminate, meaning that everyone across every age, gender, and ethnic group can develop alopecia during their lifetime. 

As is with most conditions, there are a few different types of alopecia areata:

  • Alopecia areata patchy: With this form of alopecia, the hair falls out in patches that are about the size of a coin. It is the most common type of alopecia.
  • Alopecia totalis: Alopecia totalis results in a complete loss of hair on the scalp.
  • Alopecia universalis: This form of alopecia results in hair loss all over the body, including the hair, face, and scalp.

If you believe that you may have alopecia, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. The earlier you get diagnosed, the more success you will have treating your symptoms. 

What causes alopecia?

The question “what causes alopecia?” has stumped medical experts for years. Unfortunately, there is no known cause of alopecia. Scientists have yet to determine if the adverse autoimmune response is triggered from something inside the body (like a virus or bacteria) or something outside the body.

Something else scientists are still looking into is whether or not alopecia is passed down through generations. However, scientists believe that there are several other factors besides family hereditary that contribute to the disease. In fact, most parents with alopecia do not pass it to their children. 

A Cure

Sadly, no cure for alopecia areata has been found. However, there are things you can do to mitigate the effects that hair loss has on your confidence. 

You might want to try out a technique called scalp micropigmentation. If you choose to go through a scalp micropigmentation treatment, micro pigments will be tattooed on your scalp to fill in any patches in your hairline. If you’re experiencing alopecia totalis or universalis, the pigments can make it look like you recently shaved your head.
According to Pam Neighbors, scalp micropigmentation is one of the fastest growing hair loss solutions ever, and more than 500.000 have relied on it to get their self-esteem back.

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