Alopecia areata: plaque hair loss

Alopecia areata: plaque hair loss


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THE alopecia areata scalp, also called peeling, is a form of hair loss that occurs in plaques. The causes of this phenomenon have not yet been identified by researchers, but the dermatological problem is probably autoimmune, that is, due to the aggression of the organism’s cells by the antibodies themselves.

  • Symptoms of alopecia areata

  • Diagnosis of alopecia areata

  • Risks of alopecia areata

  • Treatment of alopecia areata

  • Prevention of alopecia areata

Symptoms of alopecia areata

The most frequent alopecia areata is manifested by drop of whole parts of hair, usually called hair plates. In general, the hair falls in a well-defined area and remains undamaged in the rest of the head. The problem affects any part of the scalp.

The size of the region affected by the condition varies 1 to 5 centimeters in diameter and the hair at the edges of the area becomes shorter and thinner while the bare scalp shows no scarring or any other changes in the skin. There are other forms of alopecia, which can promote the loss of all hair and even all body hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes.

Diagnosis of alopecia areata

The diagnosis of alopecia areata is clinical and no exam required complementary to be done by a dermatologist.

Risks of alopecia areata

Alopecia areata affects both men and women of any age and can also affect children. The problem it is not a serious disease nor does it cause other complications, but its occurrence, especially in women, may have psychological repercussions important and reflect on quality of life.

Treatment of alopecia areata

In the vast majority of cases, hair grow back in a natural way between six and 18 months after the onset of the problem. Otherwise, several treatments may be proposed by the doctor. Among them is the use of corticosteroids (cutaneous application, oral route or local injections) that can be prescribed to stimulate hair growth. In more serious situations, there are also treatments for phototherapy and with immunosuppressants. Another option, when the doctor identifies that hair loss has an emotional background, is to use a psychological approach.

Prevention of alopecia areata

Because its causes are not yet clearly defined, it’s not possible indicate methods that prevent the occurrence of alopecia areata.

Photo: © Fotolía.

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