Alopecia Areata is a type of hair loss, typically from the scalp, though it can affect other areas of the body. The hair loss typically remains limited to the scalp but in certain cases it can expand to eyelashes, eyebrows, facial hair (beard & mustache), and nasal hair and rises the bald spots anywhere in the body. Alopecia Areata is a common condition which arises mainly because of a mix of hormonal and immunological factors.
Alopecia Areata can affect men and women both and it is not uncommon to see children affected with this disorder. Approximately 2 percent of the general population globally suffers from Alopecia Areata. We come across several children with Alopecia Areata.
Hair is made up of a keratin protein which is also the main element of nails. A particular structure within the skin called ‘Papilla' produces the hair. The papilla is surrounded by a pouch-like structure called ‘Hair follicle' which also surrounds rest of the hair root within the skin. The part of the hair exterior the skin surface is called as shaft.
Alopecia Areata is considered as to be an auto-immune condition in which the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks the hair follicles and destroys them. This leads to hair loss in the affected area.
The most common presentation of Alopecia Areata is appearance of bald patches on the scalp. In many of the cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a small coin. The patient may have single or multiple patches. In several cases these patches may remain static, whereas in some cases the patches may spread to engage larger areas of the scalp. In some cases, hair loss is more widespread. though it is not very common, the disease can progress to cause total loss of hair on the head (Alopecia Areata totalis) or the complete loss of hair on the face, head, and rest of the body (Alopecia Areata universalis).
In this condition there is a single bald spot on the scalp.
In this condition there are multiple bald spot on the scalp.
In this condition, the patient loses all hair on the scalp.
In this condition, all body hair, including pubic hair, is lost.
In this condition, the disease is limited only to the beard region.
In this condition, alopecia develops all along the frontal margins and temporal margins of the scalp because of constant tension on the hair from being tied very tightly.
It is significant for all cases of Alopecia Areata to ruling out two conditions, which often accompany:
All three of them are auto-immune diseases and their treatment and prognosis is dependent on control of all of them at the same time, as observed in a large number of cases treated at Life Line Clinics.