What is Alopecia Areata and How Can it be Treated?

What is Alopecia Areata and How Can it be Treated?

Alopecia is a well-known term in the hair care world and is, unfortunately, among one of the more common reasons for hair loss. While there are three common types of alopecia they all directly relate to unexpected hair loss, affecting both men and women of all ages. 

These forms of alopecia are called Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis, and Alopecia Universalis. Alopecia Totalis results in hair loss in the whole head, including eyebrows and eyelashes, while Alopecia Universalis results in hair loss on the entire body.

While these conditions are generally quite serious, Alopecia Areata is a particularly perplexing condition that causes sudden, unpredictable hair loss in patches around the scalp. This can be a nightmare for everyday hair care, and it can be a real knock to our confidence.


What is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, leading to hair loss. This condition typically results in small, round patches of baldness on the scalp.

A common misconception is that Alopecia Areata is labeled as male pattern baldness in men. However, male pattern baldness is a genetic trait, not autoimmune-related. 

Unfortunately, it can occur at any age and affects both men and women equally. The severity of hair loss varies, with some people reporting a few patches of hair-loss, while others may experience more extensive loss.


alopecia areata


Causes of Alopecia Areata

The exact cause of alopecia areata is still not fully understood, but it is believed to be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A family history of autoimmune diseases increases the risk of developing this condition. This includes a history of thyroid issues, diabetes and lupus.

Stress and other particular viral infections have also been suggested as potential triggers, although this has not been fully confirmed.


Common Symptoms of Alopecia Areata

The primary symptom of alopecia areata is sudden hair loss in round or oval patches on the scalp. The affected skin is usually smooth and not inflamed. In some cases, hair may regrow in one spot and fall out in another.

A dermatologist can diagnose alopecia areata through a physical examination and, if necessary, a biopsy of the affected skin.


treatment for alopecia areata


Treatment Options

Sadly, there is currently no direct cure for alopecia areata. However, various treatments can at the very least help you manage the condition and promote hair regrowth. Treatment options include:

  1. Topical Treatments: Corticosteroid creams or ointments can reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system's activity around the hair follicles. These are usually prescribed directly from a GP or a dermatologist.

  2. Injectable Steroids: While a more severe route, corticosteroid injections directly into the scalp can be effective in some cases. 

  3. Oral Medications: In more severe cases, oral corticosteroids or immunosuppressive medication may be prescribed to manage the autoimmune response caused by Alopecia. These are usually a long-term action for Alopecia 

  4. Light Therapy: Also known as phototherapy, this treatment uses UV light to reduce inflammation and stimulate hair growth.

  5. Natural Supplements: Nutritional supplements can support hair health from within and are a highly accessible hair regrowth option. The Grow It Hair Supplement by Annutri is popular with many forms of hair loss, formulated with essential vitamins and minerals that nourish hair follicles and promote growth. It is also an excellent natural alternative to minoxidil.

In general, Grow It can be an excellent product to build a foundation for healthy hair growth, regardless of serious conditions like alopecia.



    Lifestyle Changes to Help with Alopecia Areata

    In addition to medical treatments and supplements, certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can help manage alopecia areata.

    • Healthy Diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports overall hair health and personal health in general. Follow the five a day guideline and be sure to avoid fatty food as much as possible.
    • Stress Management: Life is stressful for all of us, and stress can be a hard to manage when we have so much going on in our lives. Making changes to our daily routine can include engaging in new exercises or habits, such as yoga, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises. All in all, be kind to yourself and don't let the hair loss get to you.
    • Gentle Hair Care: Avoiding harsh hair treatments and using gentle, nourishing hair products can prevent further hair damage.  Avoid scalp brushing if your scalp is irritated or inflamed.

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