What is Alopecia Areata?
A condition that causes hair loss which affects the scalp is known as alopecia areata. But in some cases, it can sometimes affect hair loss in other areas. This loss of hair is very rapid and normally involves 1 side of the head more additionally than the other side.
Alopecia areata has an effect on both females and males. The type of loss of hair is different than baldness known as male-pattern baldness which is an inherited problem.
Evidence does suggest that alopercia areata is thought to develop because of an abnormal problem with the immune system. This abnormality leads to autoimmunity. Because of this, the immune system assails the follicles of hair and interrupts the normal formation of hair. Biopsies of the skin in these affected area shows immune cells within these follicles of hair where they are not normally present. The cause of this is not known. Alopecia areata often is related with other conditions which are autoimmune such as disorders of allergies, Vitiligo, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Alopecia areata often occurs within members of families, which suggests heredity and genetics.
The most frequent pattern is where one or several areas of hair loss are on the scalp. There is as well a type of mostly generalized hair thinning known as diffuse alopecia areata thru out the scalp. Often, all hair of the scalp is lost and is known as alopecia totalis. Less often, the total loss of all bodily hair, called alopecia universalis can occur. Often this loss of hair involves the beard of a man which is a condition known as alopecia areata barbe.
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