Alopecia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Alopecia

Alopecia areata is a general term which is used for hair loss. This can be a small bald patch on the head or the loss of all hair over the entire body. Nearly 2% of the U.S. population will develop alopecia in their lifetime. Alopecia areata affects both males and females. This type of hair loss is different than male pattern baldness, it is also an inherited condition.

There are different types of alopecia, these ares-
Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Totalis
Alopecia Universalis
Alopecia Barbae
Alopecia Mucinosa
Androgenetic Alopecia
Traction Alopecia
Anagen Effluvium
Scarring Alopecia
Telogen Effluvium

Causes

Alopecia is not contagious. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks itself, in this case, the hair follicles. Alopecia areata may occur in more than one member of the family, and such families may develop other autoimmune diseases such as pernicious anaemia and vitiligo. It is also more common in patients with chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome.

Symptoms

The primary symptom of alopecia areata is roundish patches of hair loss on the head, with smooth, hairless scalp in the affected areas. In rare cases, alopecia areata can progress to complete loss of hair on the head (alopecia areata totalis) or complete loss of hair on the head, face, and body (alopecia areata universalis). Alopecia areata is associated with nail changes including pinpoint pits, ridging, roughening and loss of shine.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the extent of the disease, and also the age of the patient. For small patchy disease, intralesional steroid injections (Kenalog(r)) are the best approach. This is injected with a tiny needle directly into the patches on the scalp with injections spread over affected areas. Injections are repeated every 4 to 6 weeks. As with many chronic disorders for which there is no single treatment, a variety of remedies are promoted which in fact have no benefit.

Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs similar to a hormone called cortisol produced in the body. Corticosteroids can be given orally or via local injections.

Falling of hair is from general debility. Fluoric acid is good for this illness. As near specific as is possible. Arsenicum. Bald spots near the forehead; the scalp is covered with dry scales. Vinca minor is also use for falling of the hair with great itching of the scalp.

Dithranol is thought to be less effective than topical immunotherapy, but works in some cases. It is applied each day to the whole scalp if there is extensive hair loss and left for 20-60 minutes before washing it off.