Health

What is Alopecia Areata? Symptoms, Treatment and its Prevention

alopecia areata

Hair loss is one sign of old age, but people lose their hair at all ages. Several factors lead to hair loss. The leading cause is an autoimmune condition; It’s called alopecia areata. 

There are several types of alopecia. You can tell them apart if you trace the causes of hair loss. The symptoms also tell hair loss causes. 

What Is Alopecia?

Alopecia is a group name for several types of hair loss. 

Following are the types of alopecia areata

We discuss five main types of alopecia. Then they are divided into several smaller classes. The five main types are: 

  • alopecia areata, 
  • androgenic alopecia, 
  • traction alopecia, 
  • Cicatricial alopecia, and 
  • postpartum alopecia. 

Let’s look at each type and how you can treat them. 

Alopecia Arteta

It’s a condition that leads to patchy bald spots. The patches are either round or oval. Alopecia areata can affect any part of your body. The cause of hair loss is not known. But you can treat the symptoms and slow down hair loss. 

The common types include alopecia totalis, alopecia Universalis, and beard alopecia. 

Alopecia areata is when the hair falls from your scalp. It leaves the part of the scalp bare and smooth- the follicles on that part no longer produce hair. The process is quick or slow- it depends on the cause. 

Alopecia areata problems happen rarely. It is a type of alopecia areata that makes the hairs all over the body fall off; they include the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard( for men), and body hairs. 

Beard alopecia or alopecia barbae happens on the beard area. It causes bald patches on the beards. You’ll need Treatment to assist the hair in growing. However, it’s a lifetime thing since the hair may fall out when you stop the Treatment. 

We’ll discuss the causes and Treatment later. 

Androgenic Alopecia

It’s another term for male and female pattern baldness. It thins your hair making it look scanty. But you may not become bald. However, it leads to partial or complete hair loss in men. It is caused by hormones found in the body. 

Traction Alopecia

This type of hair loss mainly appears on the temples. But, it can also result from tight hairdos. For instance, when you pull your hair when making a hairdo, you can slowly pull the hair by the roots. The result is traction alopecia. You can prevent these if you are gentle on your edges when wearing any hairstyle. 

Cicatricial- Cause of Alopecia areata

Hair fall caused by scarring is called cicatricial alopecia. It happens when sores destroy your hair roots. Sadly, you can’t reverse this type of alopecia. 

You can prevent this type of hair loss if you keep your scalp free from sores. Thus, it would help if you adopted a healthy hair care routine. Minoxidil helps prevent further hair loss and treats sores. 

Postpartum Alopecia  

Many women lose their hair 2-3 months after giving birth. This is due to the changes in the body. It’s not a severe case as the hair regrows after you finish nursing. Proper nutrition prevents or slows down this type of hair loss.

Alopecia Causes

It happens when your body hits your scalp. Yet, there are no defined causes for it.

Most people that suffer from alopecia areata have a family history of hair loss. In addition, there are claims that stress can cause alopecia areata. But there’s no factual proof to support that. 

What are the Symptoms of Alopecia?

  • Bald patches appear on your scalp and hair-bearing areas.
  • The parches grow bigger and merge to form a bald spot.
  • Hair loss happens within a short time.
  • Hair loss is rapid during cold weather.
  • Hair may grow back on the spot and fall out on another. 
  • You get sore, brittle, red, and pitted fingernails and toenails. 

Alopecia prevention

Several factors cause autoimmune disorder that affects hair cells. However, the main cause is unknown. Thus, you cannot prevent a condition if you don’t know the cause. 

Alopecia Hair Treatment

Alopecia areata has no remedy. But some treatments can slow down or reverse hair loss. They include;

PRP hair treatment

You can use the blood protein to treat alopecia areata. The doctor prepares it by concentrating platelets into a little portion of the blood plasma. The PRP has a healing agent that allows cells to regenerate and heal. Thus, the hair follicles produce new and healthy hair. 

Topical minoxidil

This is a topical application that helps boost hair growth. It helps in the production of collagen and keratin. It also helps fight infections on the scalp. Thus, your hair will grow to the optimum as long as you continue using the product. Unfortunately, you’ll have to use the product for a lifetime or until you seek an alternative permanent solution. 

Finasteride

Finasteride is an oral drug that helps in hair growth. It’s a prescription drug that you can only use under a doctor’s advice. However, it helps address hair loss problems for some time. 

Anthralin cosmetics creams and balms

Anthralin and balm is a tar-like substance. It’s used to treat psoriasis and alopecia areata. The cream helps to regrow hair on bald patches in 8-12 weeks. But it irritates the skin in some patients. 

Topical immunotherapy

When alopecia areata is widespread, you’ll need advanced Treatment. Immunotherapy uses chemicals to regrow fallen hair. Use the therapy under the doctor’s advice as it can cause serious side effects. 

Intralesional corticosteroid treatment

This treatment involves injecting the drug into the bare patches of the scalp. The Treatment is done every 4-6 weeks. 

The treatment method depends on the stage and extent of your hair loss. Essential oils can reverse hair loss at an early stage. Add the essential oils to your hair oils and apply them daily. Ensure you massage gently to allow easier absorption. 

Scalp massage increases the rate of blood flow. It takes nutrients and oxygen to the hair roots. Thus, the roots bring out healthy hair. In addition, the practice reverses hair loss. 

Conclusion

You can manage “Alopecia Areata. First, look for any signs of hair loss. Then rush to your doctor as soon as you notice an odd hair shedding. Your doctor will help you point out alopecia causes. Then you can address the problem early enough.

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