Faqs About Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a medical condition that can result in hair loss in rounded patches. The hair loss is not always limited to the scalp. If you are experiencing hair loss, here is what you need to know. 

What Causes Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that can be triggered by a range of contributing factors. As an autoimmune disease, your hair is regarded as a foreign object by the body and your immune system works to expel it. 

Stress is also believed to induce the condition and can result in it developing more.

Other potential factors include hormones, viruses, and allergies. Even toxins are a possible contributor to the condition. If you have a family history of alopecia, you could also be a higher risk of developing alopecia areata. 

How Is Alopecia Areata Diagnosed?

Diagnosing alopecia areata can sometimes be as simple as looking at the pattern of hair loss. In some instances, the dermatologist might opt to pull a few hairs from the affected area and examine it under a microscope to determine if alopecia is the culprit. 

If another autoimmune disease is thought to be at play, your dermatologist might opt to perform a skin biopsy and blood test. 

How Is It Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the hair disorder. However, the hair usually re-grows on its own over time. There are treatments that your dermatologist can prescribe that can help facilitate faster growth of the hair. 

One possible treatment is corticosteroids. The corticosteroids work by suppressing the immune system. Since alopecia areata can be the result of your body's effort to expel the hair, suppressing the system can potentially stop hair loss. 

Another treatment option is the use of minoxidil. Minoxidil is often used in combination with other treatments. It helps to re-grow the hair and can be applied to most areas of the body that has been impacted by the condition. 

What Can You Do?

In addition to traditional medical intervention, there are things you can do at home to encourage the re-growth of hair. For instance, use natural hair oils, such as castor oil, to promote blood circulation and stimulate hair growth. 

You can also reduce the amount of time that you handle your hair. While combing or brushing your hair, handle it as gently as possible. 

Re-growing your hair can take time, but it is usually possible. For more information, contact Advanced Dermatology Care or a similar location.