The body’s immune system has one job; defend our bodies from harmful germs, substances, and cell changes that can make us ill.
But sometimes, our immune system could mistake healthy cells as ‘harmful’ and attack them. When this happens to the cells of your hair follicles, it results in Alopecia Areata.
When these cells [of your hair follicles] get attacked, they shrink in size and can no longer boost hair growth.
Medical experts haven't yet discovered why this happens. But the good news is...the damage to hair follicles is usually non-permanent.
This hair condition usually affects young people aged 20 and below, but that doesn’t mean children or older adults can’t be affected. It also equally affects men and women.
A cure for Alopecia Areata doesn't exist yet, but it can be treated.
And while the condition might go on its own, you should treat it immediately to prevent it from leading to permanent hair loss.
Most people with this condition tend to have one or more bald patches on the scalp which can make them quite self-conscious and distressed.
What Are Its Signs and Symptoms?
Sudden loss of hair is defined, usually small round patches in the beginning. Coin-sized patches of hair begin to fall.
- Sudden hair loss in small round patches that looks defined.
- Coin-sized patches of your hair falling out.
- Excess hair loss even when you touch your hair. Or clumps of hair left on your pillow or in the shower.
- Bald patches spreading rapidly and loss of hair from your other body parts like your eyelashes, beard, etc.
- Burning/tingling sensations or itchiness on an affected body part before hair loss occurs.
- Nail pitting [if the Alopecia is chronic or extensive].
What Are the Factors That Could Trigger This Hair Disease?
Genetics : If your parents have history of alopecia or any atopic disorder, you are at a high risk of suffering from Alopecia Areata. Family history of autoimmune disorders like SLE, RA, etc. also elevate the risk of developing Alopecia during your lifetime.
- Genetics: If you’ve got a family history of Alopecia, autoimmune disorders [like RA, SLE, etc.], or any atopic disorder, you stand a high risk of triggering the Alopecia Areata disease during your lifetime.
- Hair Care and Styling Methods: Using harsh shampoos, hair coloring products, or hairstyling practices that stress your scalp and hair [like hair dryers].
- Stress: Exposures to extreme weather conditions or emotional stress that makes you take anti-depressants or medications.
- Vaccination: Most vaccinations [especially in children] can trigger Alopecia post-vaccination.
- Viral Infections: Viral infections like influenza.
- Vitamin D Deficiency: A study confirms that low levels of Vitamin D leave you at a high risk of developing alopecia.
Diagnosing Alopecia Areata
The diagnosis of Alopecia and Diffuse Alopecia Areata depends majorly on clinical examination and hence Alopecia Areata treatment is started immediately after the clinical examination.
The first step is conducting a Trichoanalysis. Since the disorder is fast spreading, it needs to be treated as early as possible.
How to Detect Alopecia Areata
Although there is no permanent cure for alopecia areata, there are ways that may short-circuit the body's autoimmune reaction in the scalp and encourage hair regrowth.
Confirming or detecting the existence of this hair disease majorly depends on you going for a clinical examination.
The first step is to conduct a Trichoanalysis – using advanced technology for an in-depth analysis of your scalp and hair.
If you’re affected, your treatment will have to start immediately as the condition tends to spread very fast.
Finally, Here’s What You Can Do About Alopecia Areata
While there’s no permanent cure for Alopecia Areata yet, there are ways to short-circuit the body's autoimmune reaction in the scalp and encourage hair regrowth.
You’ll also need to have consistent follow-ups, so you can monitor the response as the disorder is highly unpredictable.
That’s why we, here at Nina Ross Hair Therapy have tailored our hair care services to help you manage the distress of losing your hair due to the Alopecia Areata condition.
Book an appointment with us now and leave the rest to us.