Alopecia is a condition of hair loss
that can vary in severity, from patches that come and go to a
permanent, total lack of hair. Many believe that this is why any
choices that you consider must allow for exactly what is happening
to you and how you want to look. Choices could be made from a
custom-designed postiche or a full wig. There are three main types of
Alopecia Areata: patches of hair
missing on the scalp and body
Alopecia Totalis: baldness on the
Alopecia Universalis: baldness on
the scalp and body
What should you know about Alopecia
Alopecia areata is a common condition
that results in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere. It
usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches. It
occurs in males and females of all ages, but young persons are
affected most often.
Normally, hair follicles on the scalp
are producing 30 meters of hair each day. In alopecia areata, the
affected hair follicles slow down production drastically, become
very small, and grow no hair visible above the surface for months or
years. While in this hibernation-like state, the hair follicles
remain alive below the surface and are ready to resume normal hair
production whenever they receive the appropriate signal.
Some people develop only a few bare
patches and re-grow them within a year, even without treatment. The
scalp is the most commonly affected area, but the beard, or any hair
bearing site, can be affected alone or together with the scalp. In
some, the condition sprads and affects large areas of the scalp for
long periods of time. In others, all hair on the scalp is
lost-alopecia totalis-or all on the entire body is lost-alopecia
universalis. No matter how widespread the hair loss, the hair
follicles remain alive below the skin surface, and the possibility
of hair re-growth remains.
Alopecia human hair wigs are designed for
comfort on a scalp that has no hair, where over the counter wigs
will irritate the scalp and be itchy.
What is the signal that triggers
the condition to start or stop?
Itís not clearly known, but an immunological signal is involved.
Current research suggests that in alopecia areata something triggers
the immune system to suppress the hair follicle. It isnít known what
this trigger is, or whether it comes from outside the body like a
virus, or from inside like a hormone. Those with alopecia areata may
also have antibodies directed against other normal parts of the body
even though there is no disease or disability associated with these
other antibodies. Since the hair follicles of individuals with
alopecia universalis remain alive, hair regrowth may occur even
without treatment and even after many years.
Is alopecia areata due to nerves?
No, alopecia areata is not a nervous disorder and those who have it
have not caused it and have no control over its course.
Is it necessary to change plans
regarding school, sports, friends, career, dating, and marriage?
No, not at all.
What you should know about Alopecia Areata from
Alopecia Areata Foundation