Alopecia is a term that's used to describe excessive thinning of the hair. With treatment, some types of alopecia can be reversed and the hair regrows. Other forms of alopecia can't be treated.
One of the interesting things about alopecia areata is that it shows up in various parts of the body, including the face, scalp, chest, and arms. An estimated 6.8 million Americans have dealt with alopecia areata. This form of alopecia is triggered by an autoimmune skin disease which is good news. Once the autoimmune issues are under control, the hair regrows. It typically takes about 12 months for hair growth to be restored.
Many researchers believe that there is a genetic link to alopecia areata. They've noticed that 40% of the individuals who develop alopecia areata before age 30 have a minimum of one family member who also dealt with the condition.
Treatment for alopecia areata is diagnosing and treating the underlying autoimmune disease.
As the name implies, individuals with alopecia totalis lose all the hair on their scalp. Individuals usually notice that there are small round patches of bare skin on their scalp. These patches steadily grow larger until no hair remains.
It's believed that this is an extreme case of alopecia areata and that it's triggered by an autoimmune disease. Some people who are diagnosed with alopecia totalis also have pitted and discolored fingernails. Treatments include topical immunotherapy, corticosteroid, diphencyprone (DPCP), Tofacitinib, and ultralight therapy.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with alopecia universalis experience total body hair loss. It's believed that this condition develops when the immune system fails to recognize hair follicles as natural and attacks them. Some people who have been diagnosed with the condition reported that they experienced some burning and itching at approximately the same time that they noticed the hair loss.
The cause of alopecia universalis isn't clear. It's believed that genetics and autoimmune disorders play a role in the hair loss. It's also suspected that certain environmental issues could cause the condition to worsen. While there isn't a universally accepted treatment for alopecia universalis, some people have reported that their hair eventually regrew. In some cases, the hair regrowth occurred several years after the initial hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia is quite common. It's experienced by both men and women. Men with androgenetic alopecia notice that the hair initially grows thin at the temples and along the brow line and continues to steadily recede. Women with androgenetic alopecia report that their hair loss started with thinning patches throughout their scalp. Men typically experience eventual total baldness, women don't usually go completely bald, though their hair is often so thin that the scalp is visible.
There is evidence that suggests a connection between androgenetic alopecia and other health issues which include hypertension, insulin resistance, prostate enlargement, and heart disease.
Lichen Planopilaris Alopecia
Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is the name given to the alopecia that's characterized by the destruction of the hair follicle. Once the follicle dies, it's replaced by scar tissue. Individuals who develop this type of alopecia notice that their hair appears to be thinning in gaps. The resulting scar tissue is created by the body's immune system brutal assault on the hair follicle. It's not uncommon for redness and scaling to appear on the scalp.
LPP is more prevalent in women than men.
We understand exactly how stressful losing your hair to alopecia is. We want you to understand that this isn't something you're going to have to learn to live with.
Worried about your thinning hair? We can help! Contact LH Hair for a free consultation. We can't wait to meet you!