Alopecia areata

Definition: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss in patches, anywhere on the body, but most commonly on the scalp. The immune system attacks hair follicles, disrupting the hair growth cycle and leading to sudden bald spots.

Causes: The exact cause of alopecia areata remains unknown, but it’s believed to be an autoimmune issue where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles. Genetics and environmental factors may also play a role.

Signs and Symptoms: Sudden appearance of smooth, round bald patches, most commonly on the scalp, but can occur on the beard, eyebrows, or any hair-bearing area. Hair loss may be patchy or complete (alopecia totalis) in severe cases.

Treatment: There’s no guaranteed cure for alopecia areata, but various treatments may help stimulate hair growth and promote recovery. These include:

  • Topical medications like minoxidil – May stimulate hair growth.
  • Immunotherapy medications – Help regulate the immune system.
  • Phototherapy – Ultraviolet light exposure can promote hair regrowth.

Disclaimer: Please consult a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment options for alopecia areata.