What is Alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is scalp condition in which the falling of hair occurs in small patches but in initial phase the small patches is unnoticeable ,after some times the small patches may connected and then become noticeable.so in alopecia areata hair fall occur in patches .
Alopecia areata is autoimmune , non scarring disorder
Type of alopecia areata
- Alopecia areata(patchy ) -it is the initial stage in which the hair start falling in small patch then it gradually increases and make a shaped like coin.if this condition become worsen it lead to alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis
- Alopecia totalis -when the hair loss occur in whole scalp this conditions called alopecia totalis
- Alopecia universalis -this is a severe form of alopecia , along with the scalp hair loss also started from the other parts of the body such as eyebrows ,eyelashes,chest , back ,and pubic hair.
- Genetic -if this disease strike under the age of 30 , in such type of cases having strong family history
- Medical conditions -There are some medical conditions in which the chances of occurrence of alopecia areata are common such as asthma ,hay fever , thyroid disease(thyroiditis), vitiligo ,pernicious anemia and down syndrome
- Stress - some experts says alopecia areata is also triggered by mental stress.
- Pre existing skin disease or autoimmune disorder
- Pregnancy and hormonal imbalance also lead to this condition during pregnancy several hormonal changes occur .
- Smoking , drinking also triggered this conditions
- Social stigma -if there is some problem in the growth of the hair is reduce the self esteem , affects the quality of life ,it lead to bad impact on emotional levels and decreases the confidence levels of the patient , in this Condition patient try to make distance from society and sometimes it also leads to depression .
- Permanent hair loss if the condition is not treated at the right time it lead to alopecia totalis ,it means hair loss is permanent and also spread to other parts of the body
Symptoms & Causes
The classical symptoms of alopecia areata is hair loss in patches, due to patches it may form a coin size shaped in the scalp
- Symptoms of this condition may appear sudden , developing in just a few days or may take a period of weeks
- In acute phase , the lesion can be slightly erythematous and oedematous.
- Sometime itching may occur
- Characteristic hair , known as exclamation point hair may be seen within around the areas of alopecia ,these hair are tapped towards the scalp end with thickened at the distal end .
- Cadaver hair -when the hair breaks before reaching the skin surface
- White hairs - may grow in the affected area.
- Burning in the affected area
There are some warning signs appear in the fingernails and toenails, these signs warns regarding this condition.signs are
- Nails become rough
- Nalis of the fingers and foot become thin and split
- Sometimes nails become dull and lose their shine
- White spots and lines may also appear in the nails
The exact cause of this condition is unknown but it autoimmune disorder so when some problems occur in the healthy immune system
If the immune system is disturb it try to harm own cells , this condition occurs when white blood cells normally it protects us but due to deranged immune system white blood cells started to attack the cells in the hair follicles , it lead to shrink and as a result it slows down the production of the hair .
Multiple factors such as genetic and environmental factors
- Genetic factors play a very important role because it is fact if any person is suffering from this condition having strong family history of alopecia areata
- Stres - there is little evidence that this condition is triggered by stress
- Some medical conditions also related with this diseases such as thyroiditis , vitiligo , and any history of autoimmune disorder ,asthma, hay fever , pernicious anaemia and drown syndrome.
Diagnosis and treatment
- Diagnosis is made by physical examination , past history , and medical history all these steps help in making the diagnosis of this condition
- Past history reveal any history of the same condition and medical history give clue to find out any other autoimmune disorder
- Scalp biopsy may require sometimes -it is required to rule other conditions such as sany fungal infection ( tinea )
- Sometimes hair of the affected part is examined under the microscope
- Blood test - test is also useful to detect other conditions such as iron levels, thyroid hormones,antinuclear antibody test , free and total testosterone , follicular stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones , erythrocytes sedimentation rate
- Pulling test -this test is done in initial phase doctors gently push the hairs and check the amount of pulled hair
There is only conventional treatment is available such as corticosteroids , anti inflammatory drugs which suppress the immune system , and mostly it is administered through local injections , topical ointment application , or orally ,use of photochemotherapy . but all these treatments are not safe and permanent .
Homeopathy are good option in treatment because it is safe and effective.
- Try to protect your body from the direct exposure to the sun because it can harm your ,apply sunscreen whenever going outside
- Always cover the head from the sunlight by using hats ,wigs ,and scarves to protect the head from the sun or keep it warm
- If you feel social embarrassing keep your in style that cover your baldness
- Join supportive groups and never feel depressed.
- Take diet which is rich in proteins ,zinc,and biotin .
- Scalp massage from the essentials oil
- Use Herbal supplements such as ginseng ,green tea , chinese hibiscus and saw palmetto.
- Reduce stress is it very important for overcome from this condition
Homoeopathy is the best option of treatment because it is safe and effective it helps to regrow the hair . homeopathic medicine can improve the state of dearrnage immune system .
But never take homeopathy medicine without consultation from the registered practitioner .
Some homeopathic medicine are
Jaborandi ,acid flour ,thuja ,lycopodium ,phosphorus,sulphur
Do’s and don’ts
- Use sunscreen if exposed to sun.
- Eat healthy diet
- Keep hydrated
- Protect yourself from the sunlight
- Keep positive thinking
- Use herbals oils and shampoos
- Reduce stress
- Limit the use of alcohol and smoking
- Don't join the society which depress you
- Avoid harsh hair treatments such as curling , iron and other harmful treatments .