Causes and Treatments of Alopecia Areata | Dermatology

Alopecia Areata

What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is a condition that causes hair loss in small patches, which is undetectable. These patches may be connected, but they may be recognizable. The condition worsens when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Sudden loss of hair on the scalp and in some cases on the eyebrows, eyelashes, and face, as well as on other parts of the body. It grows slowly and recurs years later between cases.

This condition can lead to hair loss, which is called alopecia universals and can prevent hair growth. When hair grows back, the hair is more likely to grow back. Hair loss and growth vary from person to person.

There is currently no treatment for alopecia areata. However, there are treatments that can help hair grow back quickly and prevent future hair loss, as well as specialized ways to cover hair loss. Resources are also available to help people cope with the stress of hair loss.

Symptoms of alopecia areata

The first common symptoms of alopecia areata are small bald patches. The underlying skin is dull and the surface is normally visible. Although these patches can take many shapes, they are usually round or oval. Alopecia areata most commonly affects the skin and chin but can occur with hair on any part of the body. Different areas of the skin show hair loss and regrowth at the same time.

The disease may go into remission for some time or may be permanent. It is common in children. The area of ​​hair that falls out may feel tingly or sore. Hair falls out in a short period of time, damage usually occurs on one side of the scalp more than the other. The exclamation point hairs, narrow along the strand, produce a characteristic “exclamation point” appearance, which is seen often. These hairs are very short (3-4 mm) and can be seen around bald spots.

When the healthy hair is pulled out, very little should come out and the split hair should not be evenly distributed over the pulled part of the scalp. In alopecia areata, hairs come out more easily along the edge of the patch, where the follicles are attacked by the body’s immune system, separating them from the still healthy patch. The nails may have pitting or tracheonicity.

Causes of alopecia areata

Current evidence suggests that alopecia areata can damage hair follicles due to abnormalities in the immune system. This particular abnormality leads to autoimmunity, which is a deceptive immune system that attacks one’s body. As a result, the immune system attacks certain tissues in the body.

In alopecia areata, for unknown reasons, the body’s own immune system attacks the hair follicles and interferes with normal hair formation. Biopsies of the affected skin show that immune lymphocytes have penetrated the hair bulb of the hair follicles. Alopecia areata is occasionally associated with other autoimmune conditions such as:

  1. Thyroid disease
  2. Vitiligo
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis
  4. Ulcerative colitis
  5. Lupus

The diagnosis or treatment of these conditions is unlikely to affect the course of alopecia areata. Alopecia areata sometimes occurs in members of the arena family, indicating the role of genes.

Treatment

Although there are some treatments prescribed by doctors to help hair grow back quickly, there is currently no treatment for alopecia areata. The most common form of treatment for alopecia areata is corticosteroids, powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can suppress the immune system. These are administered primarily topically with injections, topical ointment application, or by mouth.

Other medications that promote hair growth or affect the immune system include minoxidil, anthralin, SADBE, and DPCP. Some of these help hair grow back, which does not prevent the formation of new bald patches. The use of photochemotherapy is supported by some studies and provides a potential alternative for patients who are reluctant or unwilling to use aggressive or systemic therapies.

In addition to its aesthetic factor, it offers some protection against the elements of the hair. People with alopecia areata who lose the protective properties of the hair look for:

  • Use headwear such as hats, wigs, and scarves to protect the head from the sun or keep it warm.
  • Wear sunscreen if you are out in the sun.
  • Use an ointment on the inside of the nose to keep the membranes moist and to protect yourself from organisms typically trapped by nasal hairs.
  • Wear round glasses to protect the eyes from the sun and debris that usually protects the eyebrows and lashes.

It is not directly contagious to people, nor is it contagious. However, mentally getting used to it is difficult. For many, it is a traumatic condition that requires treatment to address the emotional aspect of hair loss, as well as hair loss. There are support and counselling groups available for people to share their thoughts and feelings and discuss common psychological reactions. To the situation.

Some have compared alopecia areata to vitiligo, an autoimmune skin disease in which the body attacks melanin-producing cells, resulting in white patches. Research suggests that both conditions can be caused by similar immune cells and cytokines that lead to common genetic risk factors and diseases.

Treatment of alopecia areata with the contact sensitizer defensin (DCP) There are some documented cases that have led to the development of vitiligo. Quercetin, a bioflavonoid naturally found in fruits and vegetables in basic animal research, can protect against the development of alopecia areata and effectively treat existing hair loss. Before alopecia areata can be considered for treatment with quercetin, more research is needed, including clinical trials in humans.

Diagnosis

Doctors can usually easily diagnose alopecia areata by examining the symptoms. They can see the level of hair loss and examine the hair in the affected areas under a microscope.

If, after a preliminary clinical examination, the doctor is not able to make a diagnosis, he may perform a skin biopsy. If they need to rule out other autoimmune diseases, they can have a blood test. Because the symptoms of alopecia areata are so distinctive, diagnosis is usually quick and straight forward.

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