Alopecia | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Alopecia aereta is one of the most common forms of hair loss observed by dermatologists. Earlier, there was no treatment for Alopecia and so people had to live with bald patches on their heads. But, now a deeper understanding of causes of Alopecia has given us some effective treatment modalities.
Richfeel trichology clinic has helped many people to treat the bald patches and regain their confidence.
What is Alopecia Aereta?
Alopecia aereta is skin condition characterised by hair loss that cause distinctive bald patches. It causes loss of hair from scalp, face and other parts of the body. Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder and occurs when body’s own defense system attacks some cells causing hair loss. For most people the condition resolves on its own within a year, but the hair loss is sometimes permanent. People who develop one of more bald patches in scalp find it very unpleasant and suffer a lot of distress.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- Sudden loss of hair in defined patches.
- Excessive hair fall even on touch.
- Bald patches spread rapidly.
- May start losing body hair.
- May show up on any part of the body and not necessarily involve scalp hair only.
- Seen after any acute health history or any stress.
What are the types of Alopecia?
Alopecia is mainly of two types-Non- scarring Alopecia and scarring Alopecia.
- Acute viral infection
- Any exposure to unusaul stressful factors like exterme weather conditions etc.
- Family history of Autoimmune disorders like SLE, RA etc.
- Emotional stress
This is an irreversible case of hair loss and is also termed as male pattern thinning as it mainly affects the men. It starts with thinning of hair in the front and the crown areas of scalp. Androgenetic Alopecia usually begins in teens and progresses till the age of 30. So if you have good hair on your head by the time you are 30, you probably will always have it.
Is the male and female pattern of hair loss different?
Yes, male and female pattern of hair thinning shows a significant difference. In men, the pattern of hair loss is U-shaped. It starts with thinning on the crown or hairline, which advances to top of the head. In women, androgenetic Alopecia appears as diffuse hair loss or thinning on the top. In women the thinning of hair starts much later in life and also progresses slowly. The crux of problems lies in the hormones. In men, androgen causes damage to the hair follicles and increases risk of irreversible baldness. Since women have oestrogen, it counteracts and stops the negative actions of androgen. However, at a stage where oestrogen level drop and androgens rise, women too start losing hair. Therefore women mainly show thinning of hair after menopause, when oestrogen slows down dramatically or stops altogether.
Male Pattern Thinning
Female Pattern Thinning
What are the causes of Alopecia?
Alopecia occurs when body’s own immunity consisting of white blood cells attacks the healthy hair follicles. Alopecia may also be caused due to other factors such as stress, infection to the scalp or certain illnesses only if you are genetically predisposed to conditions of hair loss and thinning. Some type of Alopecia such as androgenetic Alopecia is predominant in men and is caused by male hormones. The common causes of Alopecia are listed below
- Autoimmune response
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Mental Stress
- Exposure to some chemicals
- Poor nutrition
- Irregular lifestyle
Who can suffer from Alopecia?
Alopecia aereta can affect both men and women; however, the male pattern and female pattern of hair loss is significantly different. Also, some type of Alopecia such as Androgenetic Alopecia is seen more commonly in men due to the effects of testosterone. Although people in the age group of 30 to 60 years of age are most likely to develop Alopecia aereta, younger people can have this hair loss problem too.
How to cure Alopecia?
The treatment for Alopecia is recommended based on its type. Treatment for Alopecia areata focuses on reducing the white blood cells associated with the problem. People who suffer from Alopecia areata are also prescribed amino acid supplement containing L-tyrosine, which reduces auto-inflammation. Also, lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity need to be considered while dealing with Alopecia. Since stress too is contributing factor, in non-scarring Alopecia, person who suffers can consider going for yoga, meditation, or other relaxation therapy.
L-tyrosine is also highly recommended for people who have scarring Alopecia. Since scarring Alopecia causes irreversible hair loss, people can consider non-surgical hair camouflage.
How is Alopecia treated at Richfeel?
The diagnosis of Alopecia depends majorly on clinical examination and hence Alopecia treatment is started immediately after clinical examination. If needed, the doctor may conduct Trichoanalysis. Since the disorder is fast spreading it needs to be intervened as early as possible.
We do not believe in using steroids locally or internally but our focus is to correct the problems in the immune system. Changes in diet along with external and internal regimen can be suggested along with some home care programme.
The diagnosis of Alopecia depends majorly on clinical examination; Alopecia treatment is started immediately after clinical examination. If needed, the doctor will decide whether Trichoanalysis to be done or not. (Not possible in AT & AU) Since the disorder is fast spreading it needs to be intervened on SOS basis without losing much time.
We do not believe in using steroids locally or internally but our focus is to bring about a correction in the immune system. Changes in diet along with external and internal regimen can be suggested along with some home care programme.
ALOPECIA TREATMENT PROTOCOL
- Detailed examination guides about the acute nature of the problem and it’s pace of progression.
- Capilloscopy is done to check follicular status and underlying scalp health.
- Simple amino acids along with hair nutritive supplements can be prescribed.
- Topical applications with Trichoactive product are suggested.
- Doctor generally refrains from giving a lot of clinical therapies as the scalp is very sensitive.
- May suggest some home care as the disorder needs a rigorous approach to arrest the spread.
- Frequent follow-ups are needed to monitor the response since the disorder is unpredictable.
- Dietary changes to improve immunity are recommended.
- Avoiding animal proteins may also be suggested.
How much does the Alopecia treatment cost?
The cost of Alopecia treatment at Richfeel depends on the type and severity of Alopecia. If you wish to know the cost of Alopecia treatment for your condition, book an appointment with us to meet our trichologists.
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