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Women's Guide to Alopecia AreataLearn about the condition, how to diagnose your situation, get the tests, and get treatment.
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that affects about 2% of the population; it can strike children and adults randomly, even those in good health. Over 4.5 million people in America are afflicted by it (NAAF), and about 25% of those with alopecia areata have had a family history of this particular type of hair loss.
Alopecia Areata Diagnosis
Alopecia areata is characterized by complete scalp hair loss within round patches, leaving a smooth, hairless scalp. Along with these patches of hair loss are the prevalence of "exclamation point hairs". These are broken hairs that taper or narrow closer to the scalp, giving it the appearance of an exclamation point. Hair loss from alopecia areata can occur very rapidly or slowly or even at irregular intervals.
Inflammation of the hair follicles and surrounding hair structures sets in, which causes hair follicles to retreat into deeper layers of the skin. These follicles are then shut off from a flowing nutrient supply and eventually starve, becoming dormant, which causes the hair to shed.
Alopecia Areata Causes
At the moment, the exact cause of this disease is unknown. There are several things that can trigger alopecia areata, including stress, long term chemical exposure, an allergic reaction, a viral or bacterial infection, having a genetic predisposition and even physical traumas.
Alopecia Areata Treatments
There are several responsive treatments for alopecia areata, to find out more information, visit the section labeled "treatments" up top.
If you are experiencing patchy hair loss, or sudden drastic head or body hair loss, we will be publishing guides for you in the coming months as well.