Alopecia Areata and Totalis (Universalis) – Cause and Treatment for Autoimmune Hair Loss
Alopecia Areata and Totalis (Universalis)
Causes of hair loss other than genetic hair loss.
Alopecia areata is thought to be an autoimmune reaction where the body actually attacks itself, destroying the hair follicles. The condition is probably stress-related and causes circular patchy areas of hair loss.
Generally, whether it is treated or not, hair growth will return in less than six months but it can be recurrent and, in some cases, if the hair hasn’t returned after a year, there is a good chance the damage is permanent. Some doctors will treat Alopecia areata with steroid injections into to hair loss area. This treatment will work to speed up hair growth, but it will not grow back hair follicles that would not grow back on their own in time. I have found that Rogaine or minoxidil has the same success in speeding hair growth.
Hair Transplant Treatment for Alopecia Areata?
Yes, I have had much success with hair transplantation in patients with Alopecia areata. The area needs to be biopsied first to determine activity then a small test area should be done. If growth is realized after the test transplant is performed a larger area can then be transplanted. The majority of qualified candidates who have undergone a hair transplant surgery have maintained nearly all of the newly transplanted hair, although future autoimmune reactions are quite possible.
Hair Transplants for Alopecia Areata
Although various forms of medical treatment are available to aid the hair in regrowing, there is certainly no guarantee. Areas where hair is permanently lost can and have been successfully transplanted so the condition is not as hopeless as it may sound. Of course, transplanting hair requires areas of healthy growing hair to use as a donor and this is certainly not available in alopecia universalis. In any case, please see a physician regarding your hair loss. Delays can be very costly.
Alopecia Areata Help. Scholorships and Foundation
Alopecia areata is not by any means a rare condition. There is a National Alopecia Areata Foundation that answers over ten thousand separate inquiries per year. Each year they also supply a video to over two thousand children to help them explain alopecia areata to their schoolmates. Their services do not stop here. They maintain direct contact with over five thousand people who have needed the support services that they provide.
In an effort to educate the public and those who are afflicted to the diagnosis, problems, and consequences of alopecia areata, the foundation runs an annual conference.
Scholarships and grants are awarded to needy patients and innovative researchers respectively. Grants in recent years have amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars, all of which are the product of private fund-raising. Their active public affairs section has been successful in placing over one hundred publicity pieces in magazines, newspapers, radio, and television annually.
This alopecia condition is the extreme version of the above where all body hair is completely lost. This is usually permanent and traumatic to the patient. Hair Transplants are not possible as a form of treatment.
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