Alopecia areata is an acquired skin disease that can affect all hair-bearing skin and is characterized by localized areas of non-scarring alopecia (hair loss). Alopecia areata is occasionally associated with other medical problems. Most often these bald areas regrow their hair spontaneously.
Can alopecia lead to other diseases?
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.
Is alopecia a serious illness?
Alopecia areata isn’t usually a serious medical condition, but it can cause a lot of anxiety and sadness. Support groups are out there to help you deal with the psychological effects of the condition. If you lose all your hair, it could grow back.
Does alopecia affect life expectancy?
About 0.15% of people are affected at any one time, and 2% of people are affected at some point in time. Onset is usually in childhood. Males and females have the condition in equal numbers. The condition does not affect a person’s life expectancy.
What does alopecia do to your immune system?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks a part of your 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).
Who is normally affected by alopecia?
Anyone can have alopecia areata: Both men and women can get it. It affects all racial and ethnic groups. It can happen at any age, but most people get it in their teens, 20s, or 30s.
How do you prevent alopecia from getting worse?
What can I do to manage my alopecia?
- Avoid hair and scalp trauma. Use a soft-bristled hair brush and wide-toothed comb to protect your scalp from damage. Avoid the overuse of chemicals on your hair. …
- Eat healthy foods. Hair loss can be caused by poor nutrition. …
- Reduce stress. Try to get enough sleep and daily exercise.
Can you reverse alopecia?
Can Alopecia Be Reversed? Whether your hair loss is caused by hormones or an autoimmune disorder, regrowing your hair by using new medications and modifying your diet can be possible as long as you start treatment early.
How long does alopecia stay active?
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.