What is Alopecia Areata?
At Skalp® our service enables people find new aesthetic solutions to hair loss through Micro Pigmentation. We therefore want our clients to know exactly what their hair issue may be, the causes, symptoms and possible treatments so they can make informed choices. Let’s talk about Alopecia Areata:
Alopecia Areata is a form of hair loss which affects all age groups and both men and women. It tends to appear more commonly in young people before the age of twenty and is most apparent in teenage years. If it appears in later years then the sufferer is more likely to be female. Luckily the symptoms tend to be milder when it first appears in older age groups. It is estimated that the number of people affected by Alopecia Areata (or Alopecia as it is commonly known) is approximately 2 in 100 of the population.
What are the causes of Alopecia?
Alopecia is considered to be an auto-immune disease. When the body is working correctly its immune system creates antibodies to keep out foreign bodies which may do harm. In the case of an auto immune disease the body mistakes part of the body for a foreign body and in the case of Alopecia, antibodies are released against the hair follicle causing hair loss.
What are the symptoms of Alopecia ?
- Bald patches start to appear on the scalp
- There may be a mild redness, scaling or itchy feeling around the bald patch
- The bald patch may regrow within a few months. At first the colour of the hair may be different but it will eventually take on the pigment of your normal colour.
- More than one bald patch may develop and is much as the first patch is re-growing the new patches are developing.
- If the bald patches are close to each other they may merge and form one large bald patch
- You may find that other areas of the body are affected such as beard, eyebrows or even eyelashes
- When someone loses all their scalp hair this is called alopecia totalis
Prognosis for alopecia
Mild cases often resolve without treatment and this usually occurs within a few months to a year. In some cases however, patchy baldness may come and go over many months or years. If less than half of the scalp is affected and no treatment is started, there is about an eight in 10 chance of full hair re-growth within one year. With more extensive hair loss, it is less likely that hair will re-grow. There is treatment in the form of steroidal injections or topical steroidal creams as well as minoxidil solution, applied topically can help to promote hair re-growth in certain cases. Topical immunotherapy is by far the most effective treatment and requires referral from your GP.
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