Alopecia Areata is a variation of hair loss that happens when the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, having mistaken them. Experts still don’t know why the immune system does this and the damage to the hair follicles are usually not permanent in nature. Though it usually occurs in people below 20 years of age, it could affect one at any age in adulthood and both the genders have the same likelihood for its occurrence.
The condition usually manifests as clumps of hair falling out which result in smooth patches that are round shaped. It could also manifest as the thinning of hair, without noticeable patches without hair. It may grow and break off too, leaving behind small stubs known as exclamation points. In very rare cases, there is a total loss of scalp and also body hair. The episodes of hair loss come and go. Hair will grow back over several months in one spot but will be lost from another.
When there is hair loss in patches, the hair grows back here as well in a few months. The hair usually is of the same hue and texture, but it could also be fine and white. 10% of the individuals with this Alopecia Areata may never have hair growth again.
Are some people more prone to it?
You are more likely to be affected if you:
- are hyper allergic.
- have a family history of it.
- have extensive hair loss.
- have unusually colored and shaped nails in the toes and fingers.
- have experienced it at a young age for more than a year.
- have an auto-immune disease already.
It is also seen on some of the affected that the toenails appear to be pitted as if they were damaged by a sharp pointed object. They could also have a sand paper texture. Alopecia Areata cannot be cured. It can only be treated. If you would like to know more Alopecia Areata or its treatment, please do feel free to get in touch with us.
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The information provided in Dr. Dixit's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.