Alopecia aerata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair fall in clumps though the amount of hair loss is different in everyone. Hair fall is usually noticeable on the scalp but it can happen on any part of the body where hair grows.
Hair loss may occur for many reasons and some of the most common causes include aging, change in hormones and family history of baldness.
There are different types of alopecia areata:
- Patchy alopecia areata – This is the most common type of hair loss where one or more coin-sized patches is found on the scalp or other parts of the body
- Alopecia Totalis – This type of hair loss lose most of their hair
- Alopecia universalis – This is the rarest type of hair loss where there is complete or almost complete loss of hair on the scalp on the other parts of the body
When suffering from alopecia, you may notice that there are small bald patches on your scalp or other part of your body, the patches may get larger and form together into a bald spot. You might also notice that you lose a lot of hair over a short period of time, more hair loss during cold weather, your nails may also become red and brittle. The bald patches may be smooth with no signs of rash and/or redness.
With an autoimmune disease, like alopecia aerate, your immune system attacks your hair follicles causing inflammation. With alopecia, doctors don’t really know why it happens but it is more likely that it is in your genes, your stressed, you lack the right nutrition or you have a thyroid issue.
If you notice symptoms of alopecia, you might need to see a dermatologist and discuss with her your symptoms and condition.
There are many factors causing hair loss. Consulting a doctor will help you get the tests done to check for any fungal infection, get your blood tests to check for thyroid, hormone or immune system problems.
Apart from medication, there are other things you can try if you have alopecia. You can wear wigs, hats or scarves to cover your hair loss and protect your scalp from the sun. Most importantly, try to reduce stress. Stress triggers alopecia though this has not yet been proven scientifically.
Alopecia isn’t usually a serious medical condition. But if you notice sudden hair loss, always consult with your doctor. There could be a whole lot of different other reasons besides alopecia.