Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is the third most collective form of hair loss, just behind androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium. The lifetime risk is nearly two in every 100 individuals.

What is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia Areata is a skin disorder that causes hair loss, usually in patches, most often on the scalp. Usually, the bald patches appear suddenly and affect only a limited area.

Typically, Alopecia Areata is temporary and affects a small percent of the population. Baldness occurs in small, round, smooth patches and can be identified on the scalp only, or body hair. Alopecia Areata is classified as an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system fallaciously attacks and rescinds healthy body tissue.

Symptoms of Alopecia Areata

Typically Alopecia Areata entails no symptoms besides hair loss, however some patients experience a burning sensation or itching.

Alopecia Areata begins as one to two patches of hair loss, most often on the scalp and may continue with the beard, eyebrows, and arms or legs. Roundish patches of hair loss are smooth, and may be peach-colored. Hairs that look like exclamation points are sometimes seen at the edges of a bald patch.

Some individuals with alopecia areata also have irregularities in the surface of their fingernails, such as tiny pits or dents, grooves, apparent splitting, or abnormal regions of redness.

Causes of Alopecia Areata

While the cause is widely unknown, scientific research leads surgeons to believe a trigger affects the immune system and suppresses the hair follicles.

Is Alopecia Areata hereditary?

Yes, heredity plays a major role. Those who advance their first patch of Alopecia Areata before the age of thirty have a greater likelihood that another family member will endure it. Alopecia Areata often occurs where there is a history of asthma, Hay fever, Atopic Eczema, or other autoimmune disease such as Thyroid disease, early-onset Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Vitiligo, Pernicious Anemia, and Addison's disease.

Diagnosing Alopecia Areata

Your surgeons at Elaen will measure results of hair loss on examination of the regions balding and your symptoms. He may pull gently on the hairs near the edge of the bald area to determine whether these hairs come out very easily and to inspect them for any structural abnormalities of the root or shaft.

If diagnosis is still incomplete, a small skin biopsy may confirm the diagnosis. In a biopsy, a small piece of skin is removed and examined in a laboratory.