Alopecia Areata: what to know
What is Alopecia Areata? It can be defined as a pathology that affects males and females equally. It is more likely to affect young adults and is very rare amongst people older than sixty. It causes hair loss in localized areas of the body – these areas typically include the scalp, particularly the occipital areas and the temporal areas.
Several factors can cause the weakening of hair follicles and the resulting hair loss. Surely, the cause is frequently identified in several interconnected factors including the following: malnourishment, undernourishment, stress, illnesses, and other serious problems affecting the immune system.
Alopecia causes psychological discomfort and it is pivotal to intervene promptly.
Numerous factors such as age, duration and nutrition play a fundamental role and could even cause the hair to spontaneously regrow. Treatments include prescription drugs, as well as ointments and lotions, whose effects vary depending on the subjects treated.
Furthermore, genetic factors surely play a fundamental role – which is why Alopecia frequently affects more than one family member.
Despite studies and therapies, there are not 100% effective pharmacologic treatments to date, and relapses can be very frequent. Finally, there are milder versions of Alopecia Areata that can be cured within a few months through the use of steroids, minoxidil, and anthralin topical.
For the most serious conditions – which are those affecting more than 40-50% of the head – the most common treatments include corticosteroids, topical immunotherapy, etc.
Alopecia Areata does not entail a complete decline of the hair follicle but rather an alteration of it life cycle. It is therefore appropriate to keep in mind that certain pharmacologic treatments could stimulate hair regrowth, but often do not truly get at the root cause.
Every type of treatment can be carried out for about 9 to 12 months and it is necessary to also offer the patient an appropriate psychological support, wince the pathology can negatively affect the quality of her life.