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Alopecia areata is one type of hair loss that typically causes patches of baldness and in some cases total baldness . In most of the cases the hair re-grows, typically after several months and whereas the hair loss is permanent in some cases. Treatments f or hair re-growth works in few people.

  • Alopecia means 'loss of hair' or 'hair loss' or 'baldness'. There are several different causes and patterns of alopecia. Alopecia areata is one type of hair loss.
  • The exact number of people affected by alopecia areata is not known. Estimates vary between 1 in 1000 to 2 in 100 people being affected at some point in their life.
  • Alopecia areata can occur at any age but most cases first develop in teenagers and children.
  • In about 6 in 10 cases the first patch of hair loss develops before the age of 20 years.
  • Males and females are equally affected.
  • One or more bald patches to appear on the scalp.
  • Round in shape about the size of a large coin.
  • Develops quite quickly. - bald patch or patches
  • Some mild redness, mild scaling, mild burning, or a slight itchy feeling on the bald patches
  • When a bald patch first develops, it is difficult to predict how it will progress.
The following are the main ways of progress:
  • Quite often the bald patch or patches re-grow hair within a few months
  • Sometimes one or more bald patches develop a few weeks after the first one
  • Sometimes several small bald patches develop and merge into a larger bald area
  • Patches of body hair, beard, eyebrows, or eyelashes may be affected in some cases
  • Large bald patches develop in some people and leads to loss of scalp hair. This is called alopecia totalis
  • In some cases, all scalp hair, body hair, beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes are lost. This is called alopecia universalis.
  • The nails are affected in about 1 in 5 cases and can become pitted or ridged.
  • An auto-immune disease
  • Mild inflammation which leads in some way to hairs becoming 'weak' and fall out to cause the bald patches.
  • It is not known why it is common for only certain areas of the scalp to be affected.
  • Affected hair follicles are not destroyed. Affected hair follicles are capable of making normal hair again if the immune reaction goes and the situation returns to normal.
  • Cause is unknown

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