Alopecia - Alopecia Areata
Alopecia is the term used to describe many types of hair loss and thinning hair problems and can affect hair from the head or body, sometimes to the extent of baldness. Examples are:
  • Androgenic Alopecia: the genetic hair thinning condition that causes hair loss in men and women. 
  • Alopecia Areata Monolocularis: baldness in only one spot and may occur anywhere on the head. 
  • Alopecia Areata Multilocularis: multiple areas of hair loss
  • Alopecia Areata Barbae: limited only to the beard
  • Traction Alopecia: the consequence of voluntary hairstyling routines such as ponytails or braids
  • Tricotillomania: alopecia caused by compulsive pulling of hair
In some cases, Alopecia is due to underlying medical conditions, such as iron deficiency where the hair loss may be more diffusely over the whole scalp, in which case the condition is called Diffuse Alopecia. Loose Anagen Syndrome also comes under the heading of Alopecia. 

The most common type of Alopecia is a patchy hair loss called Alopecia Areata (AA). Alopecia Areata is usually identified by hair loss in one or more round spots or patches on the scalp. The first symptoms of Alopecia Areata are small, soft skin, bald patches. The patches can appear in many shapes, but are usually small and round. Alopecia Areata most commonly affects the scalp, eyebrows or beard, but can occur on any hair-bearing part of the body. The area of Alopecia Areata hair loss has been reported to tingle or be slightly sensitive when the hair loss is active.
              Alopecia Areata After  

The hair tends to fall out over a short period of time, with an active patch of Aploecia Areata identified under the microscope by typical exclamation point hairs present at the perimeter of the hair loss patch. Exclamation point hairs are hairs that become narrower along the length of the strand closer to the base, producing a characteristic "exclamation point" appearance.
 
Alopecia Areata is an Autoimmune Disorder where the follicles are being attacked by the body's immune system which suppresses or stops hair growth. Autoimmune means there is a problem with the body's normal immune system response. Normally, the immune system helps protect the body but with an Autoimmune Disorder, the immune system cannot tell the difference between harmful substances and healthy ones. The result is an overactive immune response that attacks otherwise healthy cells and tissues. The underlying cause of Autoimmune Disorders is not fully understood and can occur at any age.

There is evidence that T cell lymphocytes cluster around the effected hair follicles, causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss. Another reported sign of Alopecia Areata is pitting of the finger or toe nails due to aberrant nail formation because keratin forms both hair and nails. Alopecia Areata is not contagious and seems to occur more frequently in people who have other affected family members, suggesting that genetic factors may contribute. Alopecia Areata is more likely to occur in people who have relatives with autoimmune diseases. Alopecia Areata patients also tend to have a slightly higher incidence of asthma, allergies, atopic dermal ailments, and even hypothyroidism. Unknown environmental triggers such as emotional stress or a pathogen is thought to combine with hereditary factors to cause Alopecia Areata. Episodes of Alopecia Areata before puberty predispose one to chronic recurrence of the condition throughout life.
                  
Alopecia Scarring Lost Follicles                                    Alopecia Scarring Lost Follicles

Alopecia Areata left unchecked, or if the disease does not respond to treatment, can result in complete baldness of the affected area, Alopecia Totalis. Alopecia Totalis is only reported in 1-2% of Alopecia Areata cases. When the entire body suffers from complete hair loss, it is termed Alopecia Universalis. Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis are relatively rare. Diagnosis and understanding of the mechanisms of Alopecia  Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis are most important before deciding on a treatment.
Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia can also cause scarring damage to the scalp. When the hair follicle is closed at scalp level, it indicated the bulb has died, and hair re-growth will not be possible.


Please contact Absolique Hair Health Clinic to recieve your Correct Diagnosis with a Hair Health and Scalp Check