What is alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is a condition which results to loss of hair, causing hair to fall out in small patches. This might not be unnoticeable at early stage but later become noticeable. The condition happens when the body immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
Hair losses may occur on the scalp, and in other cases the eyebrows, eyelashes, and face, as well as other parts of the body. It can also develop slowly and recur after years between instances. The Worst stage of this condition can result in total hair loss, called alopecia universalis, and it can totally stop hair from growing again.
Eventually when hair does grow back, it’s still possible for hair lose to occur again. The extent of hair loss and regrowth varies for different individuals. There’s currently no cure for alopecia areata. However, there are treatments that may help hair grow back more quickly and that can prevent further hair loss. Resources are also available to help people cope with stress related to hair loss.
With the news of Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss spreading fast, it is important to know what alopecia is about. Here are 5 things you should know.
1. It is a skin disease resulting to hair loss:
Alopecia areata is a skin condition that causes hair loss. Suddenly, a person notices that there are bald patches on their hair and in other cases in some other areas of their body.
2. It is an immune deficiency disease
It is caused by white blood cells attacking hair follicles and reducing the rate at which hair is produced. There is no scientific reason why this happens.
3. It is a genetic disease
However, alopecia is a genetic disease. 20% of people who have alopecia do because a family member had it.
Statistically, 1 out of 50 people will experience alopecia or hair loss and it occurs among men and women equally. Alopecia can happen at any age, but most people experience it at the age of 30.
4. It is not life-threatening or painful
It is not deadly neither is it life-threatening and does not cause any physical pain. The only effect it might have might be psychological as many people equate hair with beauty. In case a person experiences loss of hair in their nose or eyelashes, it might make them more susceptible to eye and nose irritation.
5. There is no cure
Losing your hair might be devastating, but you can still look good bald or resort to wearing a wig. There is no cure for alopecia, but certain things can stimulate hair growth like anti-inflammatory drugs that suppress the immune system. They may be in the form of injections, ointment to be applied topically, drugs like Minoxidil and Anthralin.