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Alopecia Areata - Overview

Alopecia areata is one of the most common forms of hair loss, where hair falls out in small patches leaving bald spots. This condition is an auto-immune disorder and develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Sudden hair loss may occur on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, face as well as other parts of the body. These alopecia patches may appear suddenly, or in a relatively short span of time. Alopecia patches often go unnoticed during its early stages and in many cases, it is first noticed by your hairdresser. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the onset of alopecia areata might be at any age; however, most patients develop the condition before the age of 40.

Types or forms of Alopecia Areata:

  • Alopecia Areata (Patchy Hair Loss)

    Alopecia areata or patchy hair loss is the most common variation of the autoimmune disease. It presents itself as round, smooth alopecia patches of various sizes on the scalp; forming bald spots.

  • Alopecia Areata Totalis

    Alopecia totalis presents itself as total loss of hair on the scalp resulting in complete baldness. It begins with small patches of hair loss on the scalp that spread over time until the entire head is bald. This type of hair loss can begin suddenly and occur rapidly.

  • Alopecia Areata Universalis

Alopecia universalis is the rarest form of alopecia areata and presents itself as the total loss of hair over the entire scalp as well as the entire body. It is the most severe form of alopecia areata totalis that affects eyebrows, eyelashes, chest hair, armpit hair, and pubic hair.
The condition, though benign in most cases, can be the reason for tremendous emotional and psychosocial stress in affected individuals. Case of alopecia areata in children, can often be intense and emotionally disturbing. Some tend to isolate themselves from their family, friends and others, or appear withdrawn, shy and reserved.

Alopecia areata in men: Alopecia areata occurs in both men and women but is likely to be more significant in men. Men may experience hair loss on their scalp, facial hair and chest. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, men are more likely to have a family history of alopecia areata than women.

Alopecia areata in women (Alopecia areata female): Alopecia areata in women leads to hair loss that can occur on the scalp, as well as the eyebrows and eyelashes.

Alopecia areata in children:At any given moment, 1 out of every 1,000 children has alopecia areata as per the American Hair Loss Association. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, children younger than the age of 5 years, typically don’t experience much emotional impact from alopecia. After the age of 5, however, hair loss can be traumatizing for young children as they start noticing how they’re different from others.

More than a cosmetic problem, patchy hair loss is a medical problem. When not treated appropriately, it can progress to complete baldness on the scalp (alopecia totalis). This condition may even result in a severe form of alopecia totalis i.e. alopecia universalis. However, the good news is that this condition often responds well to treatment, especially during its early stages.

Symptoms of Alopecia Areata

The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss. Hair usually falls out in small patches on the scalp, forming a bald spot. These alopecia patches are often several centimeters or less. Some other common symptoms of alopecia areata are as mentioned below:

  • Excessive hair fall noticed on the pillow and in the shower;
  • Increase in the number of alopecia patches;
  • Hair loss from beard, moustache, eyebrow and other parts of the body;
  • Patches of baldness filling up while new ones appear;
  • Patchy hair loss after an episode of stress.

Causes of Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which genetics play an important role. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the prevalence of adult alopecia areata patients with a family history is estimated up to 8.6%. Alopecia areata in children is reported between 10% and 51.6% in the study.

There are several other contributing factors and underlying medical conditions such as:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Emotional/physical stress
  • Thyroditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland)
  • Atopic dermatitis (more commonly called eczema)
  • Diabetes

Homeopathic Treatment for Alopecia Areata

Homeopathic medicines effectively promote the re-growth of hair and control the progress and spread of bald spots. Homeopathy is an excellent treatment for hair problems related to the mind like stress-related patchy hair loss. According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology, natural ingredients found in homeopathic remedies like Thuja Occidentalis and Sabal Serrulata are effective in alopecia treatment. It has natural DHT [dihydrotestosterone]-inhibitors that promote hair regrowth, making homeopathy a proven and effective hair treatment. Homeopathy is also good for improving immunity, thereby preventing the immune system from attacking hair follicles that further lead to hair loss.

Alopecia Areata Treatment Results

Our homeopathic doctors develop a customized treatment plan based on the diagnosis and the patient’s individual needs. Dr Batra's™ follows an integrated approach combining homeopathic medicine and aesthetic treatments to offer an effective alopecia areata treatment. We have successfully treated more than 7 lakh patients suffering from hair loss. We at Dr Batra’s™, have a 96.6% patient success rate for treating hair loss, including alopecia areata, as authenticated by the American Quality Assessors.

FAQs

What triggers alopecia areata?

The cause of alopecia areata is an autoimmune reaction that results in the body's immune system incorrectly attacking the body's own cells. In the case of alopecia areata, the cells under attack are present in the hair follicles that further trigger hair loss.

Is alopecia areata permanent?

Usually, the bald alopecia patches appear suddenly and the hair grows back within 12 months or less. But for some people, the problem can last longer and become severe, causing total baldness (alopecia totalis) or total loss of body hair (alopecia universalis).
Homeopathic treatment is known to aid in hair regrowth as it contains natural DHT [dihydrotestosterone]-inhibitors, making homeopathy a proven and effective hair treatment.

How do you stop alopecia from spreading?

Timely and proper medical treatment can help control alopecia from spreading. Along with the medical treatment, simple lifestyle changes are also important. Necessary changes like avoiding sharp-bristled hair brushes and chemical overuse are imperative. Hair loss can also be caused due to poor nutrition. Healthy foods that are rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids are recommended to facilitate hair growth. Last but not the least is to reduce stress, get enough sleep and engage in regular exercise.

What foods help with alopecia?

Hair is made up of protein, therefore it is imperative to make sure that your protein intake is adequate. Protein-rich foods include eggs, chicken, seafood, milk, beans, sprouts and soy. Omega 3 fatty acids are also extremely beneficial for healthy hair. Foods that are rich in omega 3 including flaxseeds, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower; are also helpful. Dr Batra’s ® NutriGood – for Hair Care helps you improve the intake of necessary nutrients for better management of alopecia. It is packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex and Zinc that reduces hair loss, stimulates hair growth and enhances hair quality. It also helps in reducing inflammation, increases blood circulation, boosts oxygen supply and repairs damaged hair follicles. Visit: https://products.drbatras.com/products/dr-batra-s%C2%AE-nutrigood-for-hair-care

Does hair grow back with alopecia areata?

Yes, the lost hair may grow even after years of extensive hair loss but can fall out again eventually. Usually, the hair grows back within 12 months or less. However, this depends on the treatment provided and precautions taken. Alopecia areata often responds well to an effective treatment that helps in hair regrowth and repair.

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