An autoimmune disease, alopecia causes the immune system to mistakenly attack hair follicles, leading to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere.
In many cases, the disease does not extend beyond a few bare patches, but in some people, hair loss is more extensive.
Scientists do not know exactly why the hair follicles are affected, but they suspect that a combination of genes may predispose some people to the disease.
Alopecia areata affects an estimated 4 million Americans of both sexes, all ages and ethnic backgrounds. It often begins in childhood.
Alopecia is not a life-threatening disease. It does not cause any physical pain, and people with the condition are generally healthy otherwise.
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on Monday, March 8th, 2010 at 11:38 am and is filed under ALOPECIA AREATA.
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