Alopecia Causes And Risk Factors
Doctors donât know why it happens. But they think people who get it have something in their genes that makes it more likely. Then something happens to trigger the hair loss. Learn more about what causes alopecia.
Youâre more likely to get alopecia areata if you have:
- A family member who has it
What Is Alopecia Areata And Who Is Affected
Alopecia means loss of hair or baldness. There are a few different ways it can affect people, but the most common is small patches of hair loss, like circles, appearing on the scalp: this is called alopecia areata. There are other types, like alopecia totalis, where all the hair on the head is lost there is also something called alopecia universalis, where all the hair on the body disappears. But these are rare.
In the UK, alopecia areata is estimated to affect about 15 in 10,000 people. Most family doctors will have seen at least one case, and you probably know of a friend or family member who has had it.
Alopecia areata can occur at any age but about half of cases come on in childhood and 80% of cases come on before the age of 40 years. Men and women are equally affected. The condition tends to be milder if it comes on at an older age.
A relative, friend or hairdresser may be the first person to notice the bald patch or patches. Apart from the patch, the scalp usually looks healthy and there is no scarring. Occasionally, there is some mild redness, mild scaling, mild burning or a slightly itchy feeling on the bald patches, but usually the person doesn’t feel anything.
Types And Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata
There are 5 different types of Alopecia Areata:
- Alopecia multilobularis bald spots appear in several places on the head
- Alopecia unilocularis the hair only falls out in one place on the head
- Alopecia totalis all hairs on the head fall out
- Alopecia universalis rather than patches of hair loss, all the hair on the body falls out
- Alopecia ophiasis the hair falls out like a crown around the neck and ears .
The good news is that in all forms of alopecia areata, once the episode is finished the patient is able to regrow hair.
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Key Points About Baldness
Baldness, also known as alopecia, is hair loss, or absence of hair.
Baldness is usually most noticeable on the scalp, but can happen anywhere on the body where hair grows.
Treatment for baldness depends on the type of baldness and its underlying cause.
Most forms of baldness have no cure. Some types of baldness will disappear on their own.
It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about your baldness and how it can be treated.
Approach To The Patient With Nonscarring Alopecia
The history and physical examination are often sufficient to determine a specific etiology for hair loss. It is convenient to divide the various causes into focal and diffuse etiologies, and proceed accordingly. Patchy hair loss is often due to alopecia areata, tinea capitis, and trichotillomania. Diffuse hair loss is commonly due to telogen or anagen effluvium. Androgenetic alopecia may be diffuse or in a specific pattern, and may progress to complete baldness.
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How Can Hair Loss In Women Be Prevented
Preventing hair loss is not possible when it is due to disease, aging, heredity or physical stressors like injuries. You can prevent hair loss caused by caustic chemicals or tight hairstyles by avoiding them. You might be able to prevent some hair loss by eating a healthy diet that provides necessary nutrients in terms of vitamins, minerals and protein. You can stop smoking.
Diet Deficiencies: Your Hair Is What You Eat
The essential vitamins and nutrients, like protein, that you get from a healthy, varied, and well-balanced diet ensure good health all throughout your body, making sure all your organs and internal systems are working just as they should. Poor nutrition or following a severely restrictive crash or fad diet can lead to all kinds of nutrient deficiencies, which in turn can result in hair loss, from thinning hair to patches of baldness.
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Different Types Of Alopecia
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, and there are two main types: alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. Alopecia may cause hair loss only on the scalp or all over the body. It may result in thinning hair, patches of hair loss, some balding, or total baldness, and it may be permanent or temporary. There are numerous causes, including genetics. Talk to your doctor about possible treatments.
Emotional Stress And Your Hair
When you’re dealing with a life-altering event, like a divorce or break-up, bankruptcy or other financial problems, the loss of a home, or the death of a loved one, significant emotional stress can also disrupt the normal cycle of hair growth. Significant emotional stressors can cause temporary hair loss, but once stress is brought under control, normal hair growth is usually restored.
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Small Patch Of Hair Loss: Symptoms And Causes
A small patch of hair loss can affect your scalp or your entire body, and it can be temporary or permanent. It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or a normal part of aging. Hair loss can happen to anyone, but it is more common in men.
Baldness usually refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp. Hereditary hair loss with age is the most common cause of baldness. Some people prefer to let their hair loss process go untreated and undetected. Others may cover it up with hairstyles, makeup, hats, or scarves. And yet, others opt for one of the available treatments to stop hair loss or restore growth.
What Does Alopecia Areata Look Like
The typical pattern is for one or more bald patches to appear on the scalp. These tend to be round in shape and about the size of a large coin. They develop quite quickly. Often the person with it hasn’t noticed it at all, particularly if they have long hair which is covering the bald patch.
This photo shows a typical patch of alopecia areata on the back of a young man’s head:
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What Are The Complications Of Baldness And Hair Transplantation Procedures
Baldness may lower cause self-esteem. There are complications associated with hair transplantation procedures that include:
Patchy hair growth. Sometimes, the growth of newly placed hair has a patchy look, especially if it is placed next to a thinning area. This can often be fixed with more surgery.
Bleeding and/or wide scars. Tension on the scalp from some of the scalp reduction techniques can cause wide scars and/or bleeding.
Grafts not taking. Occasionally, there is a chance that the graft may not “take.” If this is the case, surgery must be repeated.
Infection. As with any surgical procedure, there is the risk of infection.
Does Hair Loss Look Different In Women
While men typically develop receding hairlines or bald spots on the crown, hair loss in women can manifest differently.
Has your ponytail gotten thinner? Women typically experience general hair thinning all over the head, and thinning at the part of the hair. You may notice that your hair is wispier at the front of your hairline, as well.
Eventually hair loss can lead to permanent baldness, which may expand outward from the part.
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Vitiligo Or Gray Hair
Melanin isn’t just responsible for skin color, it also gives hair its color. All hair is naturally white, but melanin develops before birth to give hair its color. Different hair colors contain varying amounts and types of melanin.
Just as vitiligo can make your body attack the cells that produce melanin in your skin, it can also affect the melanin that gives your hair color. Some people with vitiligo may develop patches of white or gray hair where melanin has been lost. Vitiligo itself does not usually cause hair loss.
If the pigment in your hair is changing in uniform patterns rather than isolated patches, it is likely graying. Vitiligo tends to appear in patches.
Other conditions like poliosis, or white forelock, can cause gray or white patches in your hair. They are similar to vitiligo, with slight variations, and can occur with conditions like vitiligo and alopecia areata. A skin biopsy may be needed to diagnose the exact cause of your pigment loss.
What Are The Treatment Options For Alopecia Areata
Understandably, hair loss is upsetting – particularly in young women. So there are plenty of private clinics out there who will promise ‘instant hair regrowth’. Be careful: a lot of treatments for alopecia are unproven, often don’t work and can quickly become very expensive. Before trying a private treatment, it might be worth getting an impartial opinion from a doctor in a state-funded system like the NHS.
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Surgical Treatments For Bald Spots
The most common surgical treatments for bald spots and hair loss in general are:
- Strip Harvesting
Strip HarvestingMen and women with bald spots can benefit from FUT , a procedure that involves the harvesting, processing, and surgical replacement of the follicles from a strip of skin, typically from the back of the head, to a bald patch on the scalp, beard, or brow.
FUEFUE refers to follicular unit extraction. It is similar to FUT strip harvesting but much less invasive. Instead, individual hair follicles are removed, and then, placed into thinning or balding areas as needed.
NeograftNeograft is a system for hair transplantation that employs the use of robotics to produce accurate follicle extraction. It is a method for increasing the efficiency and successfulness of the FUE process and useful for correcting bald spots, thinning hair areas, and receding hairlines.
ARTASARTAS takes the Neograft technologies into the full robotic mode. It is a completely automated technology for facilitating follicular unit extractions. ARTAS has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration , but only in men with straight, dark hair. It is not classified as surgery and is considered to be minimally invasive.
What Is Alopecia Areata How Is It Caused
Alopecia areata is a kind of balding that happens when your immune system erroneously assaults hair follicles, which are a piece of the skin from which hairs development starts. The harm to the follicle is typically not perpetual. Much of the time, hair drops out in little, round patches about the extent of a quarter. Numerous individuals with the malady get just a couple exposed patches. Specialists dont know why the immune system assaults the follicles.
If you do not know much about this disease, read on and you will know the facts, causes and symptoms of this disease and the remedies that you can follow to treat it.
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What Causes Alopecia Areata
There is no known cause for alopecia areata. It is an autoimmune disease. This means your immune system attacks part of your body by mistake. Scientists think the cause of the disease may be related to a persons genes. In that case, they believe a virus or something in your environment may trigger the disease.
Important Facts About Hair Loss In Patches:
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What Are Some Tips For Dealing With Hair Loss In Women
There are some things you can do on your own. You might check with your stylist or try some of these:
- Coloring your hair adds volume to the strands, making your hair seem fuller.
- Massaging your head, like when you are washing your hair, can stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Getting your hair cut shorter, and having layers added, can make your hair seem fuller.
- Using the right kind of shampoo can also help. Look for a shampoo that adds volume without using sulfate detergents.
- Using the right kind of product at the right time can also help. There are products that add volume that you add while your hair is still wet. However, using too much product can add weight.
Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Horses
Many things cause hair loss in horses, but Im going to focus on the most common reasons, parasites, bacterial infections, and some medical conditions. To find what is causing the animal to shed, its critical to determine if the origin is internal or external.
In other words, the cause is likely insects attacking your horse or a medical condition. Insects destroy a horses coat, cause bleeding and sores, and irritate the animal to the point that it rubs itself bald to get relief.
Typically horses that rub their hair off also leave broken strands, and the underlying area is irritated and red. I recently bought five young horses and all had varying stages of hair loss.
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What It Looks Like
Patches of skin discolored from vitiligo are often pale or milky white and usually have well-defined edges or borders. In some cases, these patches can also appear red or inflamed. When hair is affected, it loses pigment in certain sections, and you may see a discolored patch of skin beneath the roots of your hair.