Alopecia signifies lack of hair. The hair falls out in round patches when a person has a medical condition called alopecia areata. The hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body will fall out.
Alopecia areata can cause different types of hair loss. Each of these types has a different name:
- Alopecia areata (hair loss in patches).
- Alopecia Totalis (lose all hair on the scalp).
- Alopecia Universalis (lose all hair on the body).
Not everyone loses all the hair on their body or scalp. For about 5% of people, this happens. Often the hair grows back, but will fall out again. The loss of hair often continues for several years.
It is not infectious to alopecia. It’s not triggered by nerves. What happens is that hair follicles (structures that hold the hair’s roots) are attacked by the immune system, causing hair loss. In otherwise healthy individuals, this disorder most commonly occurs.
ALOPECIA AREATA: SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: ALOPECIA AREATA:
If you have alopecia areata, one or more of the following might be present:
- Patchy hair loss: The issue often starts with 1 or more round, smooth, bare patches of coin size where the hair was once. When you see clumps of hair on your pillow or in the bathroom, you can recognise the issue first.
- Mostly on the scalp, hair loss occurs. But any hair-bearing site may include eyebrows, eyelashes, beards. Patches differ in size.
- Exclamation mark “hairs: In or at the edges of the bare spots, a few short hairs also occur.” These hairs, like an exclamation mark, get narrower at the bottom.
- Widespread hair loss: Some patients go bald over time. Some lose all the hair on their bodies, too. This is not widespread. A hair loss band is often rare at the back of the scalp.
- Alopecia areata: Dents, white spots, and roughness can be observed on nails.
- Nail issues: The fingernails and toenails can also be affected by Alopecia areata. Nails can have tiny pinpoint (pitting) dents. They may also have white spots or lines, be rough, or become thin and broken, losing their shine. Nails rarely change form or break away. Nail changes are often the first symptom of alopecia areata.
HOW DO DERMATOLOGISTS DIAGNOSE ALOPECIA AREATA?
A dermatologist may also diagnose alopecia areata by looking at the loss of hair.
The doctor can pull a few hairs out if the patch of hair loss is growing. They can look at these hairs under a microscope.
Often, to confirm that the condition is alopecia areata, the dermatologist will administer a skin biopsy. The dermatologist extracts a tiny slice of skin to conduct a skin biopsy so that it can be examined under a microscope.
If the dermatologist thinks the patient may have another autoimmune disorder, blood testing might be essential.