Health and Beauty

Alopecia: symptoms, causes, treatment

What is alopecia? Alopecia areata, also called alopecia areata, is a common autoimmune disease that causes hair loss in small patches.

Over time, these areas can cluster together and turn into visible spots. Alopecia occurs when a person's immune system attacks hair follicles. This is what causes hair loss. This loss can occur in the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, face, and other parts of the body. The condition may appear suddenly or develop slowly and recur after years of periods. Alopecia areata can cause complete loss of hair, which may or may not grow back. While it is possible to regrow hair in some cases, the degree of hair loss and hair regrowth varies from person to person.

Symptoms of alopecia

Hair loss is the first noticeable symptom of alopecia. Clumps of hair, a few centimeters or less in length, may fall out from the scalp. However, the disease can affect any area of ​​hair growth, including eyelashes and beard. A person may notice small strands of hair on the pillow or falling out while showering, or someone else may point it out. A burning or itching sensation may occur before hair loss, which is unpredictable and often spontaneous. The hair follicles are not necessarily destroyed, and once the inflammation in the follicles subsides, the hair can grow back. Hair can grow back and then fall out again at any time. Hair loss and regrowth periods vary from person to person.

Causes of alopecia

The origins of alopecia come directly from the immune system. In autoimmune diseases, the body's immune system mistakenly views healthy cells in the body as foreign and creates special antibodies to attack them. In the case of alopecia areata, antibodies in the body attack hair follicles, leading to hair loss. It occurs mainly in people with a family history of hair loss or baldness or in people with another autoimmune disease. It is also thought that other factors such as stress can trigger alopecia.

How to diagnose alopecia?

Alopecia areata can be diagnosed by examining the extent of hair loss and other symptoms of hair loss. The doctor may also examine hair samples under a microscope and perform a scalp biopsy to rule out the possibility of another condition causing hair loss, such as a fungal infection.

In addition, your doctor may order specific blood tests to check for other autoimmune diseases or disorders.

How to treat alopecia?

There is currently no cure for alopecia. However, there are some treatments that can be tried to slow hair loss and promote hair growth:

  • Topical medications: A number of over-the-counter medications can be applied to the scalp to help stimulate hair growth. These include minoxidil, anthralin, and corticosteroids. Topical immunotherapy can also contribute to continued treatment;
  • Injections: In cases of mild and patchy alopecia, corticosteroid injections can help regrow hair. However, they cannot prevent further hair loss.
  • Oral treatments: Oral alopecia medications such as cortisone and oral immunosuppressants can help treat widespread alopecia. It must be taken strictly on the basis of the doctor's decision;
  • Phototherapy: Phototherapy, photochemotherapy, or phototherapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses a combination of ultraviolet light and oral medications.

Some people use natural alternative treatments to treat alopecia. Including:

  • aromatherapy;
  • acupuncture;
  • Micro-needling;
  • Minerals such as zinc and vitamins such as biotin.
  • Topical aloe vera gels and drinks;
  • Essential oils such as tea tree, rosemary, lavender, and peppermint;
  • Other oils such as coconut, olive, jojoba, and castor oil;
  • Herbal nutritional supplements.

How can you prevent alopecia?

Since the exact cause of hair loss is not yet known, prevention of alopecia is not possible. Although this autoimmune disease can be a result of various factors like family history of hair loss, other autoimmune disease, other skin problems, etc.

Alopecia: symptoms, causes, treatment

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