Though alopecia areata is neither age nor gender specific, it is mostly seen in women. In this article, we tell you more about this condition, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
The medical community calls it alopecia areata, however, the common man knows it as hair loss! Alopecia is characterized by hair loss and formation of bald patches. The worst part of this disorder is that it is not confined to the scalp. In fact, it can affect the hair on other parts of the body as well. Alopecia areata is a very common disorder, and is seen in around 3 million people in the world. It can affect people from all age groups, and neither gender is immune to it; though women are more widely affected than men.
Alopecia is actually a disturbing disorder. The condition of rapid hair loss and bald patches on the visible part of the skin can affect the overall look and appearance of people, and can have an adverse psychological effect on them. Here, in this discussion, we will figure out some common causes, symptoms, and treatment measures for this disease.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. There are several types, and therefore, there are many causes that lead to it. However, our discussion will be confined to the general causes of alopecia.
- Aging: Aging brings in many changes and alterations in a person’s body. The health of a person weakens, and the body becomes prone to many disorders and health problems. By far, the most common cause of alopecia is aging.
- Heredity: When the main reason for alopecia is heredity, the hair loss is seen in a diffused pattern. Hereditary hair loss in women is caused by enzymes called 5-alpha reductase and aromatase.
- Stress: Alopecia areata is a problem that not only affects a person’s hair, but also his/her mental state. Hair loss is mostly a psychological problem, and therefore, it can be a cause as well as a symptom.
- Lack of Nutrients: Improper or unhealthy eating habits, which lead to deficiency of essential nutrients in the body, can affect the strength, health, and hamper the growth of hair.
- Other Causes: Apart from these causes, some other important causes include menopause, allergies towards medications, and hormones such as androgen, which lead to androgenic alopecia.
Early symptoms include patchy baldness, and rapid hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the skin. However, alopecia areata neither affects the functioning of other parts of the body, nor the overall health of the person. At times, though, one can develop stress and depression due to alopecia areata, and the problem could turn more serious leading to complications. In some people, symptoms such as itching and complete baldness could also be seen.
A proper and guaranteed treatment for this condition has not yet been found. However, some effective treatment options are medications that slow down the process of baldness and encourage hair growth in affected areas, hair transplants, and wigs. Another good treatment is to maintain a balanced diet and consume foods that would strengthen the immune system and prevent it from working against your body. Nonetheless, it is your doctor who can prescribe the best medication for you, as treatment options might differ from person to person.
Although not serious, for some people (mostly the beauty conscious), alopecia areata can become disturbing. Hair is one of the best features of a woman’s beauty, and therefore, proper care needs to be taken so that it becomes healthy and strong.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.