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Alopecia Areata: What Is It?

Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss from areas of the body, usually from the scalp . Because it causes bald spots on the head, especially in the first stages, it is sometimes called spot baldness. Alopecia areata affects both males and females. This type of hair loss is different than male pattern baldness, an inherited condition. Alopecia areata is one type of hair loss. The exact number of people affected by alopecia areata is not known. Estimates vary between 1 in 1000 to 2 in 100 people being affected at some point in their life. Alopecia areata can occur at any age but most cases first develop in teenagers and children. In about 6 in 10 cases the first patch of hair loss develops before the age of 20 years.

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MAY 2007 (Before Treatment)                 SEPTEMBER 2007 (After Treament)

Causes

Alopecia is not contagious. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks itself, in this case, the hair follicles. Alopecia areata may occur in more than one member of the family, and such families may develop other autoimmune diseases such as pernicious anaemia and vitiligo. It is also more common in patients with chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome.

Symptoms of Alopecia

The primary symptom of alopecia areata is roundish patches of hair loss on the head, with smooth, hairless scalp in the affected areas. Alopecia totalis involves the complete loss of all scalp hair, and alopecia universalis is characterized by the complete loss of all scalp and body hair.

Treatment

Topical Minoxidil Topically applied rninoxidil 5% solution is helpful in reducing the rate of hair loss or in partially restoring lost hair in some patients; in large clinical trials, moderate growth has been noted at 4 and 12 months in 40% of males. The efficacy of minoxidil in females is not yet known from large clinical trials. Combinations of higher concentrations of minoxidil with topical retinoic acid are promising improvements.
Immunotherapy using chemicals such as diphenylcyclopropenone or squaric acid dibutyl ester on the scalp that can produce an allergic reaction, which may neutralize the turned-on immune cells.

Antiandrogens Spironolactone, cyproterone acetate, flutamide, and cimetidine, which bind to androgen receptors and block the action of dihydrotestosterone, have been reported to be effective in treating women with AGA who have elevated adrenal androgens; these must not be used in men.

There are several available treatments for Alopecia. Two relatively new drugs minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Proscar)promote hair growth in a significant minority of patents. UVB is generally used to treat skin conditions but is also used for people with severe hair loss.Steroid injections are commonly used in sites where there are small areas of hair loss on the head or especially where eyebrow hair has been lost. Anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed for autoimmune diseases. Corticosteroids can be given as an injection into the scalp or other areas, orally (as a pill), or applied topically (rubbed into the skin) as an ointment, cream, or foam. Hair transplantation is completed by taking tiny plugs of skin, each containing one to several hairs, from the back side of the scalp.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2008 at 3:20 pm and is filed under ALOPECIA AREATA. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Alopecia Areata: What Is It?”

  1. Dragon Says:

    I would like to know how to keep this from spreadding. I have it on my chin and my neck and one spot on my head.

    Thanks

  2. Gary Says:

    Why not take advantage of our expertise and get the facts so that you can make an informed decision on what is best for the future of your hair.

  3. inayath Says:

    Respected sir,

    sir, My self inayathullah, I am from India (Hyderabad), I have seen your site, actually i loss my hair on my head like a 3 to 4 patches on different places on head, and its patches are going to big patches. what i do? plz advice to me, which treatment i applied on it. is it available in india or not.

    Please reply me as early as possible, I am waiting your reply.

    Thanking you sir,
    Inayathullah,
    Mobile #:00919885784250.

  4. Gary Says:

    We supply direct to India. Call 0207 976 6868 and place your order. Delivery is about a week.

  5. Gopinath Says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am suffering from Alopecia Areata. I got a patch in end of May 2009. Now it has been more than 5 months and still i haven’t recovered from this. I reported my problem to the doctor after 3 weeks of the patch because of the reason that i have to travel to my country. My doctor prescribed me Mometosone Fureate cream (steroid) along with VB7 Forte (B-complex with Biotin and Iron) for the first 20 days and then Minoxidil 2% bid. Now I find no improvements and totally hopeless. I can send you the image of my patch, if you reply me with your email address.

    About me: I am an Indian, 21 yrs old. Now, doing my final year medicine(MBBS) in China.

    Other chronic problems I have: Allergic rhinitis and asthma.

    Please guide me with recovery from Alopecia Areata. Waiting for your valuable reply.

  6. vitiligo Says:

    seriously, this blog is great . I think im gonna stick around and read about 6 more of your posts. Many thanks

  7. bahadur Says:

    there are patches on my head from the frot im from Pakistan do u have any do u diliver ur medicine in Pakistan

  8. Gary Heron Says:

    Yes

  9. Gary Heron Says:

    Call the centre to discuss.

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