Hair loss is a normal part of ones hair’s growth cycle, and it happens every day. For the most part, you’ll regrow your lost hair and keep your full beard. The hair’s growth cycle can be disrupted by illness, hormonal shifts, stress, ageing, and inherited conditions. Every day in one’s life, more hair is shed, but new strands aren’t always regrown. 100 hairs are lost by the average healthy person each day. During the hair’s growth cycle, new strands grow to replace the ones you shed. Alopecia areata, or hair loss, affects more than 500 million people all over the world each year. However, as new strands grow to replace the ones that were lost, most people will not notice a difference. An individual might be suffering from alopecia areata if their hair stops growing back completely or if they notice a receding hairline or bald spots. For those who experience hair loss and see little or no regrowth, the condition is known as “alopecia areata” (hair loss). Male, female, and children of all ages can experience various types of hair loss. If you have alopecia areata, you may have baldness only on your head or all over your body.
What is alopecia areata?
An autoimmune disorder known as alopecia areata causes hair to fall out in microscopic areas that are sometimes undetectable by the naked eye. Although it is possible for these patches to join and become obvious, this is not always true. When the immune system attacks the hair follicles, a disorder known as alopecia areata occurs, which results in hair loss. It is possible to experience sudden hair loss on the scalp, and in certain circumstances, on the eyebrows, eyelashes, and face, among other areas of the body. Also possible is a sluggish development with recurrences occurring years after the first occurrence.
The condition, known as alopecia universalis, can cause complete hair loss and can also prevent hair from coming back in the affected areas of the scalp. The possibility of hair falling out again exists even if the hair does grow back. It is impossible to predict how much hair will fall out and grow back. Alopecia areata is a condition that has no known cure as of yet. Although hair loss is common, there are treatments that can help hair grow back more rapidly and prevent future hair loss. Additionally, there are innovative ways to conceal hair loss. There are additional resources available to assist people in coping with the stress that comes with hair loss and baldness.
Causes of alopecia
Hair loss due to alopecia areata is usually brought on by one or more of the following:
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that affects the hair follicles. An autoimmune disorder arises when the immune system misidentifies healthy cells as foreign ones and reacts against them accordingly. A healthy immune system protects your body against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. However, some people experience immune system problems. If you have alopecia areata, on the other hand, your immune system misinterprets the situation and assaults your hair follicles. Hair follicles are the structures that allow hair to grow. Hair follicles shrink in size and cease to produce hair, resulting in thinning or loss of hair.
Hereditary and genetics
Researchers are still trying to figure out what is causing this disease. Individuals with a family history of other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, are more likely to develop the condition. As a result, some scientists believe that heredity may have a role in the development of alopecia areata.
People with a genetic predisposition to alopecia areata may be more likely to develop the condition if certain environmental triggers are present.
Medications and supplements.
Medications for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems and gout can cause hair loss as a possible side effect.
How to stop alopecia
Alopecia areata has no known cure. Alopecia is tough to treat because of its unpredictability. When it comes to hair growth, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. A large number of people experience spontaneous remissions, followed by flares. All current therapy methods have a significant failure rate, and there are currently no FDA-approved medications for alopecia (FDA). To identify a treatment that has fewer side effects and a greater response rate for hair growth, clinical trials are now being done with laser treatments and photochemotherapy.
What is the best treatment for alopecia?
Despite the fact that there is no cure for alopecia, various therapies are available for those who are affected by it. Treatment for alopecia can be found here.
If you’re suffering from a tiny amount of hair loss on your head, anti-inflammatory treatments like shampoo, lotion, or foam can help. If no new hair grows after six months of treatment, the use of topical steroids should be discontinued. Skin thinness and folliculitis are among the possible adverse effects. Alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis do not respond well to topical steroid treatments.
Intralesional steroid application
Another therapy option for patchy hair loss is intralesional steroid administration, which is performed by injecting a steroid solution directly into the top layer of the skin. It is common for multiple injections to be required, which might result in skin atrophy at the injection site. Individuals suffering from fast advancing alopecia areata, as well as those suffering from alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis, should avoid receiving intralesional steroid injections.
Anthralin (Dritho-Scalp) is another topical therapy option. It comes in cream, ointment, or lotion form. There are anti-inflammatory effects in Anthralin, and new hair growth normally appears after eight weeks. For long-term treatment, anthralin may cause skin discoloration and inflammation, making it a poor choice.
Alopecia can also be treated with oral drugs such as minoxidil, which are available over the counter (Rogaine). Minoxidil has a vasodilator effect, which means it helps to increase blood flow to the scalp. Because minoxidil might take many months to produce noticeable hair growth, it is often taken in conjunction with a topical steroid. Some of the most common side effects associated with minoxidil are skin irritation, headaches, and excessive hair growth.
Contact immunotherapy and long-term usage of corticosteroids are two treatment options for both total and universal alopecia. Oral prednisolone, a systemic corticosteroid, should be taken for up to six months to keep the hair growing. Individuals with severe alopecia areata should not use oral corticosteroids for a prolonged period of time due to the risks of long-term use. An immunotherapy allergen, such diphenylcyclopropenone, has been found to be beneficial in some circumstances. Continue the therapy for at least six months if you want to see adequate hair growth.
Cosmetic and psychological support
In addition, many people seek psychological counselling as well as cosmetic products like as wigs or hair weaves to disguise their baldness.
If you or your child are concerned about hair loss and wish to seek treatment, see your doctor. Talk to your doctor if you’re suffering a receding hairline (facial fibrosing alopecia) and are concerned about the long-term effects. Consult your physician if you or your kid have unusually rapid or uneven hair loss, or if you notice more hair falling out than usual when brushing or washing their hair. It is possible that a medical problem is to blame for sudden hair loss.