The circular bald patch in your hair!

Are you worried about the patchy hair loss and baldness? Do you wonder what is causing the hair loss? You might be suffering from Alopecia.

Alopecia areata causes patchy hair loss on the head and there is mild visibility of the scalp. More often, this is observed in men because of lower density of hair on their heads. But both men and women have similar predilection for the disease. Also it is mostly observed after 20 years of age. It is rare before 3 years of age.

What are the reasons for these patchy bald areas?

Men are heard saying that their baldness is inherited from their father. Scientifically, the root cause behind that fact is that the genes inherited from your parents make your immune system too strong causing it to initiate self inflicting process.

The skin biopsy from the bald area reveals immune cells around the hair follicle base under microscopic sections. These immune cells irritate the hair follicles and cause hair loss while preventing the re-growth of the hair in the same area. The hair loss can further progress and cause complete baldness and in severe cases may advance to the stage where there is complete loss of hair from the entire body. But don’t worry. Despite the condition being unpredictable, the fall-off in your hair can stop altogether.

Common auto-immune illnesses associated with the disease are:

  • Lupus

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Vitiligo

  • Ulcerative colitis etc

Does stress trigger the hair loss as well?

Often people believe that the stress is an important risk factor in hair loss. With fast-paced lifestyle, the stress levels have increased especially in the age group of 20-30 years old. It has been found that stress isn’t the cause but a possible trigger for causing Alopecia areata. Studies have shown that the self inflicting response of immune cells in body is often induced by the stressors. These activated immune cells then attack hair follicle cells. Hence a connection is drawn between the two.

Can this be treated?

Corticosteroids and Anti-inflammatory drugs are mainly used and are administered locally or injected into the affected area. Other treatment modalities include Photo chemotherapy where ultraviolet therapy is given along with chemical treatment.

Alternative medicinal treatment includes use of Acupuncture, Herbal and vitamin supplements. Also, avoid sun exposure and protect the area with sun-protecting cream, or cover the head with a hat.

Fighting the shame associated with baldness

As this disease causes baldness in many young men and women, it brings a lot of emotional disturbance in their life. If you feel depressed because of hair loss, consult a psychological counsellor to help you to cope up with the emotional instabilities. There is a good probability to get back your hair if treatment is done on time.

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