What is Alopecia Areata (AA)?
What is Alopecia Areata? AA often has very distinct bald spots in unusual areas in the scalp as symptoms. Please take note that this is different from the bald spot that men normally get in the crown when they have male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. The AA bald spots can be shiny at times. Typically they are in round or oval shapes. Some people call this condition is called spot baldness. Alopecia areata is further broken down into monolocularis meaning bald spotsin only one spot or multilocularis meaning multiple areas of bald spots throughout the scalp.
How does Alopecia Areata happen?
There is no clear understanding as to how this occur. This condition is not contagious, and is thought to be hereditary caused by a faulty gene in the family's chromosome. Some doctors suggest that in addition, this type of baldness tend to manifest more often in people with certain types of autoimmune deficiency. Specifically, the body attacks its own hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth. There is evidence that T cell lymphocytes cluster around these follicles causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss as a result.
The PULL Test
The PULL test. One simple diagnostic technique is to gently run your fingers pull the hair and try to pull a handful of hair along the edge of a bald patch. If the individual is suffering from AA, the hair will tend to pull out easier along the edge of the bald patch where the follicles are being attacked by the body's immune system.
There is no effective treatment for Alopecia Areata. Most medical professionals tend to believe that the hair loss is temporary and they will grow back eventually. That is not always the case, however. In reality, probably fewer than 50% of the patients regrew their hair, and if the hair did regrow, it is usually not in the same density as before the hair loss occurred.
The most commonly administered treatment for AA is steroid injections or by applying topical corticosteroids.
Alopecia areata can further developed into Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis. The former refers to total loss of hair of the scalp and the latter refers to total loss of all of the scalp and body.
A possible treatment for Alopecia Areata using SMP
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