Types of Hair loss - Alopecia Areata


4. Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is a nasty little disease, which can make you lose precious strands of hair from all over your body, your eyebrows, eyelashes and even your squiggly nose hair. But out of all the areas it attacks it loves the scalp best, after all that’s where the most amount of hair is. Traditionally it makes you lose clumps of hair from one specific spot it lovingly appropriates, thus it is also called ‘Spot Baldness’. 

There are a large variety of alopecia’s, which can attack your tresses. Some of these may be described below. 

Alopecia aerta monolocularis likes to ‘uncover’ only one part of your head. On the other hand Alopecia areata multiculoris tends to be more libertine regarding which spot to choose, they tend to cause baldness at a number of places at the same time. In case you lose hair from everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE then you will be said to have Alopecia areata universalis. If it’s only the beard it chooses to bring down, it’s Alopecia areata barbae. Some people are also affected by a strange variant of the disease Diffuse alopecia areata, which causes you to lose all your dark hair at one go in case you have nice salt and pepper hued tresses. This is usually thought to be caused by psychological trauma.

4.1. What causes it?

Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disease. When affected by it the body, for some strange reason, identifies hair follicles as foreign tissues and thereby stalls any hair growth. No, it won’t pass onto you if you sit next to a balding man on a bus, but you might get it in case your distant cousin George had it. Some people of course also choose to blame stress for it, but then pretty much every crisis in the world has found a good reason in stress.

4.2. How do I get to know when I am getting bald?

Watch out for small, shy looking bald patches, which appear on your head unnoticed and meekly stare out at observers like a schoolgirl towards Brad Pitt. They usually appear during your teen years but can show up at virtually any age. It can of course affect your scalp, but it can also affect any other hair-bearing part of your body. Your hair loss problem can disappear for a bit or be gone completely, but in case it persists you can be sure that this baby wants to be around.

4.3. How to treat it?

Most definitely the way you would want to treat a nasty problem like hair loss. On a more serious not, watch the area the alopecia chooses to attack you in case, of course, the affected area is small since it might for all practical purpose disappear as suddenly as it had appeared. In case of acute hair loss usually steroids or immune modulators or photo therapy do not work.

4.4. Prognosis

First amongst the many effects of alopecia is the mental agony caused by the loss of the self-image every one of us likes to entertain about themselves. No one really wants to be bald! And the realization that there not wanting to be so makes no difference to the fact that they soon turn out to be hairless, tends to hit hard. Patients have also reported a greater incidence of hypothyroidism, asthma etc. Hair loss also mean your scalp will have a closer encounter with the sun, and therefore sunstroke etc. becomes more common amongst patients. 

Losing nose hair can make you more prone to hay fever and other such allergic conditions.

There isn’t yet a sure shot way of getting your hair back once you lose it. Sure you can go in for hair weaving, but for all you know your bald patch might choose to grow bit by bit with time making the weaving redundant. In case you are shy of going out in the public with your thinning hair take help of a counselor, or better still buy yourself a nice fancy wig.