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A Quick Look at Alopecia Areata

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Hair loss is a natural part of life.  Of course, it does not affect all people the same way (and some lose more hair than others); though it does seem to afflict men more than women.  

But while natural hair loss is normal, there is a type of hair loss that is the result of an autoimmune disorder that attacks the scalp, more or less.


An autoimmune disorder is a malfunction of the body characterized by the immune system attacking a particular body part (instead of a foreign or invading particle, like a bacteria or virus). Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joings. In Alopecia Areata, that body part is the hair follicles. This results in hair loss.  This is all that Capilia doctors know about the condition, for now, other than, perhaps, how to distinguish Alopecia Areata from traditional, age-related hair loss.  Scientists have said, though, that they speculate some environmental triggers might influence the onset and severity of this (and any) autoimmune condition.

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Right now, there is no singular means for diagnosing Alopecia areata.  One potential symptom, though, is irregular hair loss. This is a condition in which hair loss is more concentrated in one part of the scalp or thinner in a somewhat uneven way.  If you have irregular hair loss, basically, then it might be wise to go to a doctor for a blood test. This is how they will confirm abnormal immune response in order to diagnose Alopecia areata.  A scalp biopsy could also be necessary.


As we do not quite know the cause of the condition there is no set way to treat Alopecia areata, right now.  Some hormone therapies, however, have been found to work and in many cases, doctors will advise lifestyle changes—to see if diet and exercise has any effect.  Also, doctors might prescribe medications (like Minoxidil), steroid injections, and corticosteroid creams, which have also shown merit in slowing or reducing the symptoms of Alopecia areata.


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