Alopecia Areata: A Closer Look
Alopecia Areata is a condition that affects men, women, and children where they can lose hair in patches on their scalp from this disease. What causes hair loss is a change in your immune system. It attacks the hair follicles that are growing hair. This forces the hair follicle to go into a resting phase and that is where your hair loss begins.
Our society puts a lot of focus on our appearances it even more so on women. It is for this reason that many of those afflicted with alopecia areata off need help coping with the psychological effects that can happen with hair loss.
Alopecia Hair Loss
Alopecia areata hair loss develops with bald patches on the scalp. The hair begins to break off into sort stubby patches. Some people will have hair loss that goes beyond just patches and they can go completely bald. There are three major forms of alopecia. Alopecia areata that we have discussed, and Alopecia Totalis is another form that causes hair to be lost on the entire scalp. Then there is Alopecia Universalis where an individual will lose all their body hair from head to toe.
When the hair does grow back if is often sporadic and it can happen in one area but maybe not on another. If you are someone with alopecia, then you know that styling your hair to cover bald patches can be difficult and often frustrating.
Factors Affecting Regrowth
For those with alopecia, about 10 percent will never regrow their hair back. Several factors can cause this:
- A family medical history of alopecia areata
- Onset before puberty or a bout longer than a year as a youth
- Suffering from another autoimmune disease
- Having many allergies
- Substantial hair loss during your first episode
For those today that suffer from alopecia areata there are medical grade wigs that are night and day from wigs decades ago. Today they are much lighter and look and feel natural. Some you can even style just natural growing hair. There is also laser hair therapy that can help stimulate the hair follicles helping them to regrow hair that is thicker and healthy.
Dealing with Alopecia Questions
How you handle questions people have can often vary how you may respond depending on the situation. As an example, if your boss inquires, you would want to answer with respect. He may be concerned that you have an illness that may affect your productivity.
If a total stranger inquires on your hair loss, then you can be blunt and answer with, “it’s none of your business.” If a stranger is bold enough to come up to you and ask questions then you can respond in the same boldness.
When it comes to children you need to understand that they often have a lot of curiosity and they don’t understand personal boundaries. You can be honest and tell them you have a disease that only affects some people but it isn’t painful and you can’t catch it from me.