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How To Define Alopecia Areata?

One of the most common medical disorders related to hair is Alopecia. Zillions of people around the world suffer from this disorder almost every day. And just so you know it’s not that only normal people like you and me get Alopecia but even celebrities get affected by this hair disorder.

Gail Porter, a courageous European television reporter was suffering from alopecia and instead of wearing a wig; she came out of the closet to create awareness about this disorder candidly. Some of the other celebrities who are suspected of having alopecia are Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, even Victoria Beckham and Naomi Campbell.

define alopecia

To define Alopecia – we need to first recognize what kind of medical disorder is this.

It is an auto-immune illness. Alopecia is a disorder which makes your hair fall out causing bald patches especially in the scalp area. This disorder starts building up when the immune system starts striking the hair follicles that causes the hair to fall. Abrupt hair loss starts causing bald patches on the scalp and at times other parts of the body.

There never is a complete hair loss situation but it certainly stops the hair from growing back. And if at all the hair grows back, it may again fall off. This condition and its severity differ from individual to individual. At present, there is no cure but there are treatments available to stop the hair loss and promote hair growth.

Categories Of Alopecia

  1. Alopecia Arenta – here the hair loss is impulsive and accidental.
  2. Alopecia Totalis where you might have total hair loss on the scalp.
  3. Alopecia universalis wherein you start losing hair from all parts of the body

It is difficult to point out the real cause of this disease. Additionally, it mostly affects people with hereditary auto-immune diseases that include diabetes and/or arthritis. There isn’t any cure but with the help of few medications, there is a possibility that the hair can grow back and help put off the loss of hair in future.

Some Of The Indications Of Alopecia:

  • Hair loss is the biggest indication of Alopecia – especially in the scalp area and sometimes extends to other parts of the body.
  • Hair falls out particularly in spherical bits of numerous centimeters on the scalp.
  • To start with, you may be alarmed when you see a chunk of your hair either on the pillow or in the shower. At times, there are other types of hair disorder which have similar symptoms. So don’t just jump to conclusions with just one indication – i.e. hair loss.

Source Of Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata starts building up when the immune system of the body starts attacking the healthy cells of the body as oppose to any foreign or unhealthy cells – in this case it is the hair follicles.

Hair follicles are the cells that help in the growth of your body hair. After the attack, the hair follicles start shrinking up to the point where they stop producing hair, finally causing hair loss.

There have many studies done so far but nothing definite has come across about the exact reason – why the immune system starts attacking the follicles. Nevertheless it is a common knowledge that these diseases occur mostly with people having history of either diabetes or arthritis. This is one of the reasons why researchers believe that genes and at times certain substance in the environment could also have his hand in causing this disorder.

Diagnosing Alopecia

1. Doctors are the best judge. They will evaluate all the symptoms pertaining to hair loss and would at times be able to analyze that its alopecia just by gauging the loss of hair and also by analyzing few hair samples under the microscope.

2. To just be sure, he might also perform a scalp biopsy. This is done to understand if there is any other reason for the hair loss like bacterial infection or fungal disorder. While doing a scalp biopsy, he might remove a tiny piece of your scalp to analyze the underlying issue of hair loss.

3. Possibility of blood test occurs if you are detected with autoimmune disorders. The blood test will vary depending upon the type of autoimmune disorder you might be having.

Following are the blood test that could be done to understand whether there is any other reason for the hair loss:

  • Blood test to check levels of C-reactive proteins
  • Blood test to check irons in your body
  • Blood test to check whether there is any antibody present
  • blood taste to see if you are suffering from any thyroid

Is There Any Treatment For Alopecia?

So far there isn’t any cure for alopecia. However there are few treatments that have reduced the severity of this disorder.

1. Try rubbing medications consisting minioxidil in the affected area. Minioxidil helps to promote hair growth

2. Even steroids injections are given to stimulate hair growth

3. Besides, corticosteroid cream is also suggested by the doctor

4. In severe cases, photo chemo therapy is suggested – this is a treatment which is blend of ultraviolent light with oral medicines.

5. Individuals trying aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbal medications and vitamins have known to reduce hair loss. However these aren’t clinically approved so its benefits are still debatable.

6. To reduce the discomfort you can apply sunscreen lotion in the affected area, wear sunglasses if there is a loss of eyelashes, wear trendy wigs or bandanas to cover the balding patch. This way you look fashionable and chic. Eyebrows can also be re-created by using an eyebrow pencil.

7. What’s more, if you have undergone depression because of the excessive hair loss, you might as well join groups specifically created for Alopecia patients. Here you will have people who are suffering just like you and might be of help as to how they are coping up with their qualms.

Hair loss is always a distress and it is a concern for both male and female. But with these small changes and treatments you might prevent the depression that follows along. Alopecia is a disorder but with right measures it can be reduced to quite an extent.