Most people know that Alopecia is a general term for hair loss, but they may be confused by Alopecia Areata, which is a common cause of loss of hair at any age.
Alopecia Areata usually causes small, coin-sized, round patches of baldness on the scalp, although hair elsewhere on the face or body can also be affected. Some people can lose larger areas including the whole scalp or even the entire body.
Unfortunately it is not possible to predict the scale of hair loss and regrowth of hair can take months or even years. Those struck by Alopecia Areata have a better prospect of regrowth if less hair is lost at the beginning. In fact most people who lose only small patches of hair can experience regrowth within a year.
The chance of a full recovery is less likely in individuals who lose more than half their hair and when hair does regrow it may be white. The majority of sufferers of Alopecia Areata report further attacks of hair loss.
Causes of Alopecia Areata
Hair is lost due to inflammation which is believed to be caused by an attack on growing hair by the body’s own immune system, which protects the body from infections and diseases. Why this can happen is not fully understood, however, the hair usually regrows.
Sufferers of Alopecia Areata have a slightly raised chance, compared to those who do not have this condition, of developing other auto-immune conditions including diabetes, thyroid disease, lupus and vitiligo.
Alopecia Areata is not catching and has no link with food or vitamin deficiencies. However, stress appears to be a trigger for the condition