Alopecia areata is a condition that results in severe hair loss. In this autoimmune disorder, you may experience hair fall in small patches that increases over time. In extreme cases, it can result in complete loss of hair on the scalp or even on the entire body. Approximately 0.7% of people in India are affected by this condition . It occurs when your immune system attacks hair follicles . The trigger for this condition is your genetic constitution.
While your hair may grow back after some time, there are chances for it to fall out again. People with a family history of this condition are at increased risk of developing alopecia areata. If you are suffering from hay fever, asthma or thyroid disease, you may be prone to this condition. Read on for further insight on this hair loss condition and its symptoms.
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One of the main causes is the high WBC count, which attack your hair follicle cells. This results in slow hair growth causing them to shrink . However, the exact reason of why your immune system attacks its own cells is unknown. Research reveals that genetics does play an important role. Though stress is also considered a cause of this condition, genetic factors play a more prominent role. If you have rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, you may develop this condition. When the hair fall occurs, you start to lose hair in clumps that take the shape of a quarter.
Hair loss is a major symptom of this condition. A few other alopecia areata symptoms include:
While your scalp is affected, you should keep a close watch on your fingernails and toenails as well. Here are the early signs and symptoms that may appear when you develop alopecia areata.
There are a few other clinical signs you need to monitor as well:
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There are different types of this condition based on the extent of hair loss.
If you suspect having this condition, you can talk to your dermatologist. Here is the usual diagnosis process.
In rare cases, you may have to undergo a biopsy or certain blood tests to check for thyroid or other hormonal problems.
Though there is no permanent cure, the right treatment can help you regrow your hair. You may be asked to take corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory drugs specifically developed to treat autoimmune conditions. They may be given as an injection on the scalp or in the form of ointments. If there is excess hair loss, you may have to undergo topical immunotherapy. In this process, chemicals are applied on your scalp to produce allergic reactions. If the reactions work, your hair may regrow.
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To ensure that your hair growth is not affected, take care to reduce stress. You may do this by practicing yoga and meditation. Eat a healthy diet so that your body is not deprived of essential nutrients. Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sun glasses when you step out. Make sure that you cover your head with scarfs or hats when you go outside.
While alopecia areata causes hair loss, this condition can also affect your toenails and fingernails. Make sure not to miss these early warning signs. Timely diagnosis may help you manage the condition better. To address hair loss, connect to top doctors on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an online doctor consultation within minutes and resolve your queries.
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