A common condition, alopecia areata usually starts as a single, quarter-sized circle of perfectly smooth baldness. Alopecia patches usually regrow in three to six months without treatment. Sometimes, hair grows back in white. In another variant, alopecia can produce two or three bald patches. When these grow back, they may be replaced by others. The most extensive form is called alopecia totalis, in which the entire scalp goes bald. It's important to emphasize that patients who have localized hair loss generally don't go on to lose hair all over the scalp. Alopecia can affect hair on other parts of the body too-- for example, the beard.
Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune condition, in which the body attacks itself (in this case its own hair follicles). Most alopecia patients, however, do not have systemic problems and need no medical tests. Alopecia is also often blamed on "stress," but in fact it's usually the other way around: having alopecia causes the stress, at least until people find out what it is.
Alopecia Areata results in spotted hair loss that is partial & irregular. We are unable to see the inflammation of the bald scalp with our naked eye. In severe situations, Alopecia Areata will bring about many implications. Besides causing complete baldness of the scalp, other body areas with hair, will become bald as well.
Although the exact cause is unknown, it is believed that poor body immune system is a major that contributes to Alopecia Areata. Sufferers will not feel unwell, but they have a higher chance of developing other illnesses caused by poor immune system. Two of these illnesses are white corrosion & thyroid hyperthyroidism.
Hair loss time period for the Alopecia Areata typically spans over a few weeks to a few months, and the extent of the hair loss is more obvious & rapid. The biggest difference between Androgenetic Alopecia & Alopecia Areata, is that the former affects greater area of the scalp (Such as top of the head & "M" shaped hairline), while the latter involves partial spots.
Alopecia Areata neither cause itchiness, nor does it leave any scars. On the surface, the bald scalp does not appear to be injured or swollen. However, the inflammation of every hair follicle can be easily seen under a microscope. This is apparently the result of problematic immune system, whereby the immune system invades the hair follicles.
Treatments for Alopecia Areata include injecting steroids into affected patches to stimulate hair growth. This is not practical for large areas. Other treatments, such as oral steroids or ultraviolet light therapy, are either toxic or impractical. In most mild cases, patients can comb over the affected areas. In more severe and chronic cases, some patients wear hairpieces; nowadays some men shave their whole scalp, now that this look has become fashionable.
External Medication- Steroids (Triamcinolone)- Can be directly injected into the skin layer.
*Some sufferers of Alopecia Areata can recover fully without any treatments.
Oral consumption of the steroid is appropriate for patients with severe Alopecia Areata. This form of treatment however is not chosen as its side effects are greater, & recovery is not permanent if treatment is discontinued.