Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is a common autoimmune disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and other parts of the body(eyebrow, eyelashes, beard, mustache, and body). It begins with the sudden onset of patchy loss of hair. The extent of hair loss can vary greatly, ranging from a single coin-sized patch to extensive alopecia involving the entire scalp and the rest of the body. Alopecia is a psychologically distressing disorder for patients and requires timely, expert treatment from a qualified dermatologist to deliver great results.

Causes of Alopecia Areata

The condition occurs when the immune cells of the body attack the hair follicles, causing them to shed and leave behind bald patches. This can happen due to genetic and hormonal influences, nutritional deficiencies, systemic illness, certain drugs, post-acute illness, stress, and local skin disorders.

Treatment options for Alopecia Areata

  • Intralesional corticosteroids
  • Minoxidil solution
  • Topical corticosteroid preparations
  • Systemic medications such as steroids, immunosuppressants, JAK inhibitors and biological agents.
Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata

Frequently Asked Questions

If the lesion is limited, spontaneous hair regrowth can be noted within a year. However timely treatment is essential for positive results. In the case of multiple patches/ total baldness/ body hair loss, the results vary depending upon the severity of the disease. At present, there is no definitive cure for alopecia areata. There are various treatment modalities that are very effective, but none are universally effective and may need to be used for an extended period of time.

Typically, hair regrowth can be noticed between 3-6 months. But sometimes it can vary from a few months to a few years. However, in either case, results cannot be guaranteed.

Consume a healthy diet rich in Vitamin A, D and Zinc. Eg: orange/red colored fruits and vegetables, yogurt, milk, broccoli, fish oil, and pumpkin seeds. Consume the above-mentioned foods in moderation. The evidence for diet in alopecia areata is limited and diet alone will not give results for alopecia areata.

Do not try home remedies/over-the-counter medicines that may irritate your skin. Avoid taking excessive stress as it can further aggravate the condition.

Hair wash does not induce baldness. Hence, hair wash can be done as frequently as every alternate day or every day.

Alopecia areata does not spread from one person to another. However, it is progressive for the patient meaning the size of bald patches or the number of bald patches will increase over a period of time.


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