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Alopecia

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a highly unpredictable autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It is a common condition that is not commonly known, and affects approximately 2 percent of the population overall, including more than 6.5 million people in the United States alone.

Alopecia areata occurs in males and females and can occur at any age. It is not a life threatening condition and is too often regarded as a manageable cosmetic condition by health insurance providers.

Alopecia areata may occur suddenly and its unpredictability makes it difficult to treat as well as manage cosmetically. The impact on one’s life can be significant for adults as well as children.

Types of Alopecia

  • Alopecia areata usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth bald areas on the scalp and is the most common type of alopecia.
  • Alopecia totalis is the complete loss of hair on the scalp and frequently begins as alopecia areata.
  • Alopecia universalis is hair loss of the scalp and the entire body.
  • In all types of alopecia areata (including totalis, & universalis) the hair follicles are still alive, they are just receiving an erroneous signal from the immune system. It is best to visit a dermatologist for a correct diagnosis.
  • Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) appears with a slow band-like recession of the frontal hairline, with scarring (fibrosing) along the front of the scalp, and sometimes the sides of the scalp. Loss off eyebrow hair and body hair is also a recognised in this condition. This often, but not exclusively, affects post menopausal women. 
  • Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is a type of scarring hair loss that occurs when a relatively common skin disease, known as lichen planus affects areas of skin where there is hair. Lichen planopilaris destroys the hair follicle and then replaces it with scarring, resulting in permanent hair loss. It is between 2 and 5 times more common in women than it is in men with the commonest age of onset being in the mid-40's.

  • Telogen effluvium is a form of temporary hair loss that usually happens after stress, a shock, or a traumatic event. It usually occurs on the top of the scalp. It is different from alopecia areata. Large amounts of a person’s hair might fall out, but it is often temporary, and the hair usually grows back.

Making an informed, educated choice.

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Nancy B.
Sanfrancisco, CA
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CLIENT STORY

"There are no words I can find to say "Thank you" enough. Alopecia is challenging and emotional. You made me feel comfortable and cared for. I love the new natural look. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would highly recommnd you to anyone who is losing hair. The fact that you truly care about people is clearly apparent. I LOVE my new hair. After only this morning it is feeling like part of me."

Nancy B. 

 

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation has a yearly convention and welcomes children and their families. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends and learn about the types of research taking place to unravel the mystery of this type of hair loss. Support groups may also be available in your area; you may find information about their location through your dermatologist or the  National Alopecia Areata Foundation.


For more information on hair loss, please see our Resources page, where you will find links to groups specializing in different hair loss situations.