What is alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder. It is a type of hair loss that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells rather than harmful foreign invaders. Hence, the immune system attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. However, the damage to the follicle is generally not permanent.
Alopecia areata typically begins when clumps of hair fall out, which mainly results in a totally smooth, round hairless patches on the scalp or other areas of the body. In a number of cases the hair may become thinner without noticeable patches of baldness. Nevertheless, complete loss of scalp hair and body hair is very rare. In this condition, the hair loss often comes and goes. Hair will grow back over some months in one area however will fall out in another area.
Although Alopecia areata is most common in people younger than 30, but the condition can affect anyone regardless of age and gender.
What are the various causes of Alopecia areata?
The Alopecia areata occurs when body’s white blood cells attack the hair follicles, hence causing them to shrink and severely slow down hair production. However, it is yet unknown that exactly what causes the body’s immune system to target hair follicles. But as per researches, there is probability that genetics are involved because alopecia areata mainly occur in people who have a close family member with the disease.
Other researchers also claimed that a lot of people with a family history of alopecia areata also have a personal or family history of other autoimmune problems, like thyroiditis, vitiligo, and atopy.
What are the symptoms of alopecia areata?
The major symptom of this disorder is patchy hair loss. Small patches of hair start to fall out, mostly from the scalp. It can affect any site of hair growth including the beard and eyelashes.
The hair loss can be abrupt, developing very soon in a few days or over a few weeks. Itching or burning in the area can be felt prior to hair loss. As the hair follicles are not destroyed, so hair can re-grow. People who experience only a few patches of hair loss generally have a quick, full recovery without any treatment.
In some cases, Alopecia areata can also have an effect on the fingernails and toenails, and at times these changes can be the first sign that the condition is developing. There are several small changes that can occur to nails:
- Appearance of pinpoint dents
- Appearance of white spots and lines
- Nails become rough
- Nails lose their shine
- Nails become thin and split
How alopecia areata can be diagnosed?
Diagnosing alopecia areata is quite easy and usually very quick. Doctors can diagnose this condition by examining symptoms. They may observe the degree of hair loss and examine hairs from affected areas under a microscope.
In case if after primary examination, the doctor is unable to make a diagnosis, then they may perform a skin biopsy. They may also perform a blood test to rule out the possibility of any other autoimmune diseases.
What are the various treatment options available for alopecia areata?
Though there is currently no cure for alopecia areata, but there are some sorts of treatment available that doctors may suggest you to help faster hair re-growth.
The most common type of alopecia areata treatment is the use of corticosteroids. These powerful anti-inflammatory drugs help to suppress the immune system and can be administered through various means such as local injections, topical ointment application, and orally.
Apart from it, some other medications that can be prescribed by the doctor to promote hair growth or affect the immune system are Anthralin, Minoxidil, SADBE, and DPCP. Some people also prefer alternative treatment methods like acupuncture and aromatherapy.
Moreover, some studies also support the use of photo-chemotherapy. Studies show it as a potential alternative for those who are unable or unwilling to use systemic or invasive therapies.
What is the homeopathic treatment for Alopecia areata?
Homeopathy is a medical system that treats the person as a whole. Thus the homeopathic treatments focus on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are prepared after a complete individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient along with physical and mental health.
Some of the most common homeopathic remedies for Alopecia areata:
Homeopathic remedies are known to give very effective results in cases of alopecia reata. The most commonly used homeopathic medicines are:
Friends, as you all know very well that classical homeopathic medicines are prescribed only on the basis of TOTALITY OF SYMPTOMS with a clear cut identification of disease in patient and patient in disease also, even then we are providing here just a few homeopathic medicines for different types of medical problems in a short way.
But reader is advised very strongly to use the medicines only under medical supervision and these medicines should never ever consumed without proper consultation with your doctor or GP.
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