The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss. Hair usually falls out in small patches on the scalp. These patches are often several centimeters or less. Hair loss might also occur on other parts of the face, like the eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard, as well as other parts of the body.
Can alopecia cause other problems?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks its own healthy hair follicles. Studies show that people with alopecia areata can have other autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease.
How does alopecia affect the body?
When you have alopecia areata, cells in your immune system surround and attack your hair follicles (the part of your body that makes hair). This attack on a hair follicle causes the attached hair to fall out. The more hair follicles that your immune system attacks, the more hair loss you will have.
What can mimic alopecia?
Common conditions that mimic androgenetic alopecia include thyroid disease, iron deficiency anemia, and malnutrition. Treatment is based on patient preference. Topical minoxidil (2% or 5% solution) is approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men.
How do you know if alopecia is spreading?
Signs & Symptoms
New patches may spread by joining existing bald patches. These larger bald areas can appear while hair is regrowing in older hairless patches. Loss of hair can be permanent in some cases. Hair follicles may deteriorate, but oil producing glands in the skin (sebaceous glands) usually change very little.
Does alopecia cause fatigue?
Malnourishment or lack of nutrients
If your hair loss occurs along with symptoms such as lethargy, tiredness, or feeling sluggish, you may be having a deficiency of certain nutrients.
Do people with alopecia have stronger immune systems?
“Alopecia Areata itself does not compromise the immune system or cause immune deficiency and there is no reason to think that people with Alopecia Areata are more at risk from COVID-19 than the general population, either in terms of catching the virus or being more severely affected by it.
Can you get alopecia from stress?
Excessive physical or emotional stress—like that associated with injury, illness, or surgery—can cause one of two types of hair loss: Alopecia areata: This stress-induced hair loss involves a white blood cell attack on the hair follicles.
Who is most affected by alopecia?
Who is affected by alopecia areata? Alopecia areata tends to occur most often in adults 30 to 60 years of age. However, it can also affect older individuals and, rarely, young children.
Does alopecia areata itch?
Alopecia areata is a condition that can cause small patches of hair to fall out. It can also cause scalp itchiness.
It is more commonly seen with thyroid disorders and vitiligo, but alopecia areata has also been linked to diabetes, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Indeed, individuals with alopecia areata have an increased risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus.
What is scarred alopecia?
Scarring alopecia, also known as cicatricial alopecia, refers to a collection of hair loss disorders that may be diagnosed in up to 3% of hair loss patients. It occurs worldwide in otherwise healthy men and women of all ages.
Can STD cause alopecia?
Left untreated, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can lead to hair loss. Syphilis is such an STI. Left untreted, syphilis can cause patchy hair loss on the scalp, eyebrows, beard, and elsewhere. Other STIs can also cause hair loss.
How does alopecia universalis start?
Alopecia universalis may start as alopecia areata, affecting just one or two small patches of hair. The hair loss can happen very suddenly, producing bald spots in a matter of days. As it progresses to alopecia universalis, hair loss will continue to spread until there is no hair left on the head or body.
How quickly does hair fall out with alopecia?
How Long does Hair Loss Last? In half of patients with alopecia areata, individual episodes of hair loss last less than one year, and hair grows back without treatment. These patients may experience recurrent episodes of hair loss that spontaneously regrow or respond quickly to treatments.
Can alopecia areata be permanent?
In alopecia areata, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles for reasons that are not clear. Fortunately, the follicles retain their ability to regrow hair, and the hair loss is not permanent in most cases.