Alopecia, which is pronounced al-oh-PEE-shah air-ee-AH-tah, is an autoimmune skin disease. This results in loss of hair on both the scalp and body of a person. It is impossible to guess where it strikes and anyone whatever their age, background; social standing, gender ethnic origins etc can experience Alopecia. However, Childhood is the period to start by frequent observation.
The sufferers of Alopecia are approximately 1.7% of the population within western society with five million sufferers living in the United States alone. The timing of the disease is unpredictable; devoid of any warning in can affect any unsuspecting person. Humans life have a very serious affect, which can result in long term depression for many victims who see their Alopecia problem as a great impact on their life.
Symptoms of Alopecia
Hair is considered as our crowning glory, lovingly cared for and nurtured. In most cultures a woman’s hair is a part of her beauty. Women spend a lot of money for maintaining their hair in a fine-looking condition. The symptoms of Alopecia are when you wake up one morning and find much of hair on the pillow, or when washing it to discover much of your hair at the bottom of the drain. These symptoms can have devastating consequences.
Misconception on Alopecia
People who have never experienced this disease are unaware of what Alopecia actually is, so when they look someone who is suffering from the condition they are often new to the psychological problems the sufferer may be going through. They may also judge the person looks unsightly or even that they have some infectious disease. It’s often unimaginable bias on the part of those uneducated about the disease of Alopecia that makes life more painful for the person anguishing from it.
Cause and affect
Since it is an autoimmune problem, it means the body incorrectly sees the hair follicles as an “attacker” This results in the person’s immune system going into a defensive/attack mode and destroying the hair follicles. The first sign of the problem is presence of a small round bald patch on the scalp. Sometimes it may just stay at that stage, in other cases it may progress further until only a single thin piece of hair are left on the scalp or the person becomes fully bald. (Alopecia Totalis)
Unfortunately, Alopecia is not only confined to the scalp. For some people the situation can be even more disastrous with complete body hair loss. This can include eyelashes, eyebrows, the pubic regions underarms etc. (Alopecia Universalis). This of course can be even more devastating for the person who is suffering from the disease on a psychological level.
Remedies for Alopecia
Alopecia is not life threatening, but it is a socially disfiguring disease. Though there is no remedy for the loss of body hair such as eyelashes, pubic hair etc, there are now wigs that can be bought that are so well made that no-one would ever believe they are not the person’s real hair. Unfortunately these types of wigs come at a towering price, which many people can’t afford. It may be worthwhile checking to see if your health insurance covers you for this type of problem.