Alopecia Areata is a sudden onset of hair loss in the head and sometimes all over the body in small scattered patches. This is caused when an auto-immune condition is triggered and the body starts attacking the hair follicle generating cells. In a few cases, the affected areas have seen total regrowth of hair without Alopecia Areata treatment.
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People suffering from this condition can rely on Minoxidil, Anthralin, SADBE, and DPCP to reduce the rate of hair fall and also stimulate hair growth in a few instances.
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Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own hair. It is seen in the form of localized, well-demarcated patches of hair loss. Often, they are suddenly noticed, and they may progress circumferentially. There may be one patch or multiple bald patches. Alopecia areata is a common form of non-scarring alopecia involving the scalp and/or body, characterized by hair loss without any clinical inflammatory signs.
This condition affects both men and women although it is found more frequently in women. In most cases, a person suffering from this condition also has a family member with the same condition.
The chief cause of alopecia is an autoimmune reaction of the body against its own hair cells treating them as a foreign body. It means that the body develops a reaction and fights the hair cells which then fall off.
Although there is no cure or treatment that works for everyone. Depending on the type of alopecia areata, the severity & condition, age, and the extent of hair loss, some treatments are very effective on some people.
You might ask if there is no cure then what good are the treatments? Well, the prime goals of these therapies are to stop hair loss and to help regrow hair.
The Alopecia treatments and procedures that are known to cure Alopecia Areata are corticosteroid topical creams & immunosuppressive creams, commonly known as alopecia topical treatments, intra-lesion drug injections, cryotherapy etc.
The non-invasive treatment options are:
Naturally boosting the immunity of the body to fight off the condition is also recommended. Including the intake of probiotics and topical application of aloe vera, and onion can also be helpful.
In this treatment, an intralesional steroid is injected directly into a lesion on or immediately below the skin. The use of this injection yields new hair growth which is usually visible within four weeks.
People suffering from mild Alopecia Areata can take this as its effect is temporary and often mild Alopecia condition improves after using it. If bald patches reappear, they can be reinjected.
Topical minoxidil is used in the hair loss treatment for both males and females. It is also used to treat alopecia, hair fall due to chemotherapy, or after-effects of hair replacement surgery. It’s recommended that adults use one milliliter to the scalp, two times a day. If it’s meant for children, then the use and dose should be determined by a doctor.
A few of the side effects of using Minoxidil are scalp itching, dryness, scaling, flaking, irritation, or burning. If you have alopecia, then inform your doctor about all your medical history including what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking at present. If you have no heart condition or any other preexisting conditions, you can be prescribed Minoxidil.
This ointment is used for the treatment of long-term psoriasis. The cream is a tar-like substance applied to the hairless patches for an hour or so and then washed off. Anthralin Cream slows down the growth of skin cells (of the patch). It is recommended not to use it if the skin is inflamed or irritated.
Hair regrowth is a slow process and this cream will only work in mild Alopecia as there is a possibility of new hair growth in the affected skin patch.
Corticosteroid pills are sometimes prescribed for extensive scalp hair loss such as alopecia totalis and alopecia Universalis, to suppress disease activity and regrow hair.
Corticosteroid pills have some side effects. Young adults can usually tolerate it but not adults or aged persons. Also, if you have other conditions like high blood pressure or a weak immune system, then do not opt for this medication.
It is one of the best treatments for alopecia areata and is a highly effective therapy for the same. Doctors believe that it should be the first-choice treatment in adults with Alopecia with scalp patches greater than 50%.
People with weak immunity should definitely go for this therapy. Approximately 40% of patients treated with topical immunotherapy get a better result. Within 6 months, they can see hair regrowth.
Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. AGA is a result of genetic predisposition as well as androgen-related. Androgenic Alopecia treatment consists of oral medications, topical applications, procedures like Laser Therapy for Hair, and surgeries such as Fue hair transplant.
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Alopecia Areata is a sudden onset of hair loss in the head and sometimes all over the body in small scattered patches.
This is caused when an auto-immune condition is triggered and the body starts attacking the hair follicle generating cells. This condition affects both men and women although it is found more frequently in women. In most cases, a person suffering from this condition also has a family member with the same condition.
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Alopecia Areata is caused when the cells in your immune system cannot recognize your own hair follicles and treat them as foreign bodies. This is an autoimmune condition and your cells attack the follicles causing them to fall out. The immune response which has misunderstood the follicles as foreign bodies have to be tackled for treatment.
The symptoms are loss of hair in patches in the head, in the beard and other hair follicles in the body. In most cases, this condition only affects the hair follicles in the head, but in a few rare cases, the condition spreads to all parts of the body, thereby, rendering the patient hairless. Discolouration and fragility in fingernails and toenails are also present in a few cases. Nails also tend to become brittle and break easily.
The possible side effects of treating this condition with Minoxidil are
The side effects of using corticosteroids for treating the Alopecia differs on a case to case basis. There are instances where patients experienced zero side effects while some had to go through a few changes for a short period.
While these treatments for Alopecia Areata have side effects, consulting your dermatologists on the treatment regimen and dosage can help prevent the onset of these side effects.
Research suggests that people suffering from Alopecia Areata also suffer from low Vitamin D levels. Hence the deficiency could have a role to play to magnify the hair loss in such cases. Getting adequate vitamin D can promote hair regrowth in combination with a dermatologist prescribed treatment plan.
Yes, the bald patches can get bigger and sometimes merge to form one large spot. At times, they may grow larger and lead to irregular patterns of hair loss. these growing patches of hair loss, short, broken off hair can be seen.
Most people with mild alopecia areata recover within one year. Many people experience recurrent hair loss, wherein the hair grows back on its own but if the condition does not cure on its own, treatment is required.
Corticosteroids, administered in the form of oral medicines, injections or topical creams, are good treatments for alopecia areata. Topical application of minoxidil promotes hair regrowth. There is no permanent cure for this hair condition.