What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia Areata, sometimes referred to as Spot Baldness or Patchy Hair Loss is a very unpredictable autoimmune disease. The name was derived from the Greek word 'ALOPEKIA' which means hair loss coupled with the Latin word 'AREATA' which refers to occurring in patches. Pronounced as 'al-oh-pee-sheah air-ee-ah-tah', physically Alopecia Areata has a very distinctive appearance whereby a round patch on any part of the body completely losses hair. The size of the patch varies from an inch to the whole scalp or sometimes even the whole body. In many cases a single patch is noticed during the early stage and subsequently more patches develops in other areas. The patch will have a smooth surface that looks as though hair follicles had been completely destroyed. However the follicles still exist but had became dormant while remaining in tact. This is a result of our body's immune cells surrounding the follicles and bringing all the hair productive system to a halt instantly. In fact in many cases people affected by Alopecia Areata may notice these changes taking place within a period from as short as 2 to 3 days.
"I started using nt spot baldness 6 weeks ago and the spot is not visible anymore. Do I need complete the treatment?"
As it is highly unpredictable in nature, how it develops and progresses in a person still remains a mystery. This lack of knowledge is the reason why we still do not have a scientific or modern treatment that is effective. As everything else, in order to find a solution, the problem has to be well defined. This is why various research are being carried out to gain knowledge on this medical condition. All these efforts have contributed immensely to understanding Hair Growth process and Alopecia Areata itself. However a full reasoning as to why and how this autoimmune disease affects people still remains unknown. This condition has been classified as an autoimmune disease through an observations made on microscopic images of the scalp epidermis taken from a patient. These images clearly show how the hair follicles become surrounded by our T-cells. This benign medical condition is also found to be non-contagious. Medically benign refers to a person being perfectly healthy apart from having the strange looking bald patch or patches around the scalp or body. This medical condition has also been observed as physically harmless. However psychologically it can cause serious problems causing very vulnerable mind set resulting to reduced social interactions and other psychological problems.
With more than 3 million people affected in Unites States and Canada, statistics shows that this condition affects approximately 1.5% of the world population. Researchers have yet been able to develop any common patterns in terms of the cultural backgrounds, geographical locations, gender or age of the patients. However observations do show that 65% of people with this condition experienced it before age of 25 years old.
- Alopecia Areata or sometimes referred as Spot Baldness or Patchy Hair Loss is categorized as an autoimmunity disease.
- Some of the findings which has left some positive remarks about this condition are AA is not contagious and is medically benign.
- Although not contagious some unproven theories do link this condition with certain viruses.
- Meanwhile the person affected is normally in perfect health condition apart from the unusual appearance on the scalp.
- Being highly unpredictable in nature, causes of Alopecia Areata still remain mysterious.
- The lack of understanding has made it difficult to explain how Alopecia Areata begins and how it progresses.
- Pronounced as 'al-oh-pee-sheah air-ee-ah-tah', the word Alopecia Areata originated from the Greek word 'ALOPEKIA' which means hair loss was coupled with 'AREATA' which refers to occurring in patches.
- Although numerous researches has been carried and is still on going, Alopecia Areata still remains one of the most capricious medical condition in planet earth.
- However these researches have made tremendous contributions in understanding how our hair grows leading to advancement in hair care technology.
- Even though it is unusual, Alopecia Areata is a common medical condition with more than 4 million people affected throughout the United States and Canada.
- Some statistics reports that 17 out of 1000 people will experience Alopecia Areata by the age of 50.
- Other reports shows that 65% of the sufferers experience AA by the age of 25
- Physically Alopecia Areata has a very distinctive appearance whereby a round patch on the scalp completely losses hair.
- The patch will have a smooth surface indicating the hair follicles being completely inactivated. However the follicles still exist but have became dormant.
- The size of the patch varies from an inch to the whole body. In many cases a single patch is noticed and subsequently Alopecia Areata develops in other areas.
- People all around the world from all walks of life get affected by Alopecia Areata.
- There has yet been any pattern in the demography of people having Alopecia Areata.
- Cultural background has no significance in the profile of patients neither does the geographical origin.
- The seriousness of Alopecia Areata is clearly noticed in the psychological and social trauma faced by the person.
- Subsequently the person can be seen suppressing themselves from any sort of gathering or socialactivities resulting to isolation.
- Though physician prescribed patients with treatments, none of them have proven to be effective
- In fact many have shown very disappointing results such as losing hair as soon as treatment is stopped.
- Apart from low efficacy, some prescribed drugs have serious side effects.