Alopecia

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Medical Service Name – Alopecia

Alopecia is a disease in which the person starts to lose hair in small patches. It results from an autoimmune disorder where the loss could be gradually or all of a sudden. The patches are usually quarter size. In most cases, the loss is only a few patches, but it could be serious in some patients. This condition is also called Alopecia areata. In most cases, the hair regrows on its own, but, in some cases, it requires treatment.

However, to prevent permanent loss of hair, patients need to consult with experts immediately.

Possible Causes

The biological reason behind Alopecia is the body’s autoimmune system. White blood cells (WBCs), in this case, start to attack cells present in the hair follicles. As a result, the cells begin to wither, and slowly the growth stops. 

Possible causes of Alopecia:

  • Hereditary where it passes from one generation to another.
  • Asthma
  • Thyroid
  • Down syndrome
  • Plaque psoriasis
  • STIs
  • Vitiligo
  • Allergies
  • Age
  • Childbirth
  • Hormonal imbalance like Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • An infection of the scalp
  • Side-effects of certain medication

Types of Alopecia

  • Alopecia totalis– complete scalp hair loss. 
  • Alopecia Universalis– extreme cases of Alopecia results in total hair loss from the entire body. 
  • Diffuse Alopecia areata– thinning of hair rather than patches.
  • Ophiasis Alopecia areata – the hair loss happens in a band form covering the back and sides of the head.

Risk Factor

A lot of things might raise your chances of losing your hair, including:

  • A balding family history on your mother’s or father’s side
  • Significant weight reduction
  • Age
  • Certain medical disorders, such as diabetes and lupus Stress
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Sign & Symptoms

  • Bald patches on the scalp. 
  • Balding patches on the body.
  • Regrowth of hair in one place and loss in another area.
  • Loss of drastically higher volume of hair in a short timeframe.
  • Redness of nails on toes and fingers. 
  • Nails become brittle.

Diagnosis

By studying symptoms, doctors can typically identify alopecia areata quite easily. They may examine hairs from afflicted regions under a microscope to determine the extent of hair loss.

Because the signs of alopecia areata are so unique, a diagnosis is typically rapid and straightforward.

Doctors use different methods to assess the condition and accordingly advise the treatment. These are the ways of assessing Alopecia at 7DMC:

  • Physical examination of the scalp, affected area, and nails.
  • Tug the hair to check if the hair follicles are weak or strong.
  • Check the shape of the hair and hair follicles.
  • A biopsy may be suggested for further examination.

Treatment Options at 7DMC

Skin experts at 7DMC Aesthetics & Dermatology clinic use invasive and non-invasive methods to treat Alopecia. Our doctors can help in fastening the hair growth process. Some of the standard treatment methods include:

  • Medication – Corticosteroids are drugs given for treating inflammation in autoimmune diseases. Some of the other medicines prescribed include Minoxidil, Anthralin, diphencyprone, and more. These medications could be given as an oral pill, injected topically on the scalp, or prescribed ointments. 
  • Immunotherapy topically – this treatment process is suggested when the hair loss happens randomly. Chemicals are applied topically to initiate an allergic reaction. The reaction activates cells in the hair follicles to induce hair growth. 
  • Photochemotherapy – Ultraviolet rays, UVA, are projected on the affected area combined with the application of 8-MOP topically. Studies prove that it is one of the best alternatives to conventional invasive treatment methods. 

Our experienced dermatologists often suggest lifestyle changes that help improve the autoimmune system, along with medication and treatment procedures. Remedies like covering the scalp with scarves, wigs, hats, the application of sunscreen on the skin, etc., are also recommended. 

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

The majority of alopecia occurrences are inherited and age-related, with males being more afflicted than women. Certain genetic and lifestyle factors, however, might raise your chance of alopecia.

When you have alopecia areata, immune cells surround and attack your hair follicles. The attached hair falls out as a result of this attack on a hair follicle. The more hair follicles your immune system destroys, the more hair loss you will experience.

Fortunately, minor occurrences of alopecia areata usually improve without therapy within a few months to a year. Patchy baldness can appear and disappear over the course of months or years in some people. The size of the bald patch or patches and how long they remain vary significantly.