Types of Alopecia


ALOPECIA TOTALIS

Alopecia Totalis is a form of Alopecia Areata, an inflammatory disease of the hair follicle, characterized by a complete loss of hair of the entire scalp which becomes glabrous.

This is chronic condition of complete hair loss of the scalp, which affects a small percentage of patients with alopecia areata . Treatment outcomes are best when this disease is recognized and treated early in its course.

ALOPECIA Universalis

Alopecia Universalis (AU), also known as alopecia areata universalis, is a medical condition involving the loss of all body hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes, chest hair, armpit hair, and pubic hair. It is the most severe form of alopecia areata. People with the disease are usually healthy and have no other symptoms and a normal life expectancy.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is the most common type of Alopecia. It is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks a part of your body.

When you have Alopecia Areata, cells in your immune system surround and attack your hair follicles (the part of your body that makes hair). This attack on a hair follicle causes the attached hair to fall out. The more hair follicles that your immune system attacks, the more hair loss you will have. It’s important to know that while this attack causes hair loss, the attack rarely destroys the hair follicles. This means that your hair can regrow. The less hair loss you have, the more likely it is that your hair will regrow on its own.

Q&A

Where does Alopecia Areata Develop?

This patchy Baldness can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp, beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, inside your nose or ears.

Can a vitamin D deficiency cause alopecia areata?

Studies have found that people with certain autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis, have a vitamin D deficiency. Because alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, scientists have looked at the vitamin D levels in people who have alopecia areata. Some people did have a vitamin D deficiency, but others didn’t. More research is needed before we know whether low levels of vitamin D play a role in causing this disease.

Who gets Alopecia Areata?

While anyone can get alopecia areata, some people have a greater risk of developing it. Those most likely to get it have:

    • A close blood relative with alopecia areata: It’s estimated that about 10% to 20% of people with alopecia areata have a family member who has it. Because many people try to hide hair loss, this percentage may be higher.
    • Asthma, hay fever, atopic dermatitis, thyroid disease, vitiligo, or Down syndrome: Research shows that people who have one of these diseases are more likely to get alopecia areata.
    • Been treating cancer with a drug called nivolumab: While it’s too early to say whether this greatly increases your risk, a few cancer patients who received a drug called nivolumab (nye-VOL-you-mab) have developed alopecia areata. The drug is used to treat lung cancer and melanoma that has spread. Hair loss usually begins a few months after they start treatment. It’s called nivolumab-induced alopecia areata, and the hair loss is considered a good sign. This type of hair loss usually means that the drug is working. You can treat this hair loss with a corticosteroid that you apply to the bald spots. It allows the hair to regrow without stopping cancer treatment.

When does Alopecia Areata begin?

You can get alopecia areata at any age; however, most people develop it by 30 years of age. For many, the disease begins during childhood or the teenage years.


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